Hi! I need to know in which way nature is treated or appears in Frankenstein. I need to explain that through quotations from the book.Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With an unique twist to the gothic genre, Frankenstein's author, Mary Shelley, employs little of the dark, foreboding forest or castles; instead, she frequently uses frozen nature as the setting for her gothic tale.  In the letters of the sea captain, Walton, the preternatural atmosphere of this icy setting is connoted as he writes to his sister:

How slowly the time passes here, encompassed as I am by frost and snow!

Repeatedly, the mention of cold and ice suggests the preternatural condition of the events;  In Chapter 11 as the monster relates the story of his life after Victor abandoned him, he states that

"The light became more and more oppressive to me....I felt cold."

Later in the narrative as Victor tells his history to Walton, he describes the icy lakes of Switzerland with the snow-covered Mont Blanc looming in the distance.  Then, in a more typically gothic passage, Victor states,

The river [the Rhine] descends rapidly, and winds between hills, not high, but steep...surrounded by black woods, high and inaccessible.  This part of the Rhine, indeed, presents a singularly variegated landscape.  In one spot you view rugged hilles. ruined castles overlooking tremendous precipices, with the dark Rhine rushing beneath; and, on the sudden turn of a promontory....

Nevertheless, the main action of Walton and Victor and the creature takes place upon the ice.  In his desperate attempt to avenge himself of the creature he has created, Victor chases him across foreboding ice.  This ice and coldness of the setting connotes the sins that Victor has committed against nature in his creation of a being; in so doing, he has robbed nature of its nurturing life.


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