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Why are lengthy descriptions of nature featured so often and prominently in Frankenstein?

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haaggus | eNoter

Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:50 AM via web

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Why are lengthy descriptions of nature featured so often and prominently in Frankenstein?

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

Posted December 10, 2012 at 6:06 AM (Answer #1)

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Often in this novel, particularly at the beginning, nature becomes a powerful force that is able to offer healing and consolation for the various griefs that the characters suffer. This is demonstrated when Victor travels home with Clerval for the first time after creating the monster and physically and psychologically exhausting himself. Note how the landscape is described and the kind of impact it is shown to have on Victor:

When happy, inanimate nature had the power of bestowing on me the most delightful sensations. A serene sky and verdant fields filled me with ecstasy. The present season was indeed divine; the flowers of spring bloomed in the hedges, while those of summer were already in bud. I was undisturbed by thoughts which during the preceding year had pressed upon me...

This description clearly points towards the impact of nature and how it offers balm and comfort to the troubled characters. It is the sublime beauty of nature that, again and again, enables the various characters to forget their various worries and woes and to be restored. This, however, changes towards the end of the novel, where Victor ceases to find any joy or comfort in nature as he realises that the monster will always be with him, and he sets himself the task of single-mindedly tracking him down to kill him. Even nature has its limits.

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