Homework Help

How does nature help/reduce Dr. Frankenstein's pain in Chapter IX of Frankenstein?

user profile pic

pul2 | Student | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted April 7, 2012 at 8:34 PM via web

dislike 6 like

How does nature help/reduce Dr. Frankenstein's pain in Chapter IX of Frankenstein?

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

user profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 8, 2012 at 5:54 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 5 like

For the Romantics, nature is viewed as an oasis of peace and purity where people can be redeemed in the presence of a divine force. In Chapter IX of Frankenstein, after the senseless death of Justine, Victor retires with his family to their house at Belrive, a country estate outside Geneva where he often goes out in a boat and spends long hours on the water sailing.

Ridden with guilt and remorse and yearnings for revenge, Victor leaves home and heads toward the Alpine valley of Chamounix, which he had visited as a youth. Victor tells Walton,

The weight upon my spirit was sensibly lightened as I plunged yet deeper in the ravine of Arve.  The immense mountains and precipices that overhung me on every side...spoke of a power mighty as Omnipotence--and I ceased to fear....Still, as I ascended higher, the valley assumed a more magnificent and astonshing character.  Ruined castles...and cottages every here and there...formed a scene of singular beauty.  but it was augmented and rendered sublime by the mighty Alps, whose white and shining pyramids and domes towered above all, as belonging to another earth, the habitations of another race of beings.

There is a sensation of the sublime that inspires and soothes the tortured Victor. This "sublime" of Romanticism which author Mary Shelley holds, is a thrilling emotional experience that combines such feelings as the awe that Victor experiences. He relates that

a tingling long-lost sense of pleasure often came across me during this journey.

Thus, it is in nature and its awesome beauty and magnificence in the form of the mountains and Alpine valleys that Victor Frankenstein finds solace in Chapter IX.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes