How does the beauty of nature play a role in Frankenstein?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As Mary Shelley was married to one of the foremost Romantic poets, it is clear that her novel (which some suspect of having been heavily influenced by her husband) would refer to Romanticism in its themes and presentation. Clearly this is obvious through the portrayal of nature, and in particular the way that Victor Frankenstein finds relief and peace when he is in places of natural beauty that act as brief respite from the turmoils of his life and his actions. Note, for example, how nature is described in Chapter VI as Frankenstein journeys back from university to his home after having created the monster:

A serene sky and verdant fields filled me with ecstasy... I was undisturbed by thoughts which during the preceding year had pressed upon me, notwithstanding my efforts to throw them off, with an unvincible burden.

Again and again in the novel at points when Frankenstein is losing his humanity he returns to the majesty of nature to restore that humanity, and it is an interesting exercise to go through the novel and note down the places where he talks about nature and its restorative impact on his soul. The presentation of nature clearly indicates the Romantic idea that nature has a healing impact on us as humans, and is restorative.


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