How do the constant rain/snow and winter vs. summer affect the reading of Frankenstein?Multiple times when mentioning frankenstein's appearance, its raining or snowing. also by his creation it is...

How do the constant rain/snow and winter vs. summer affect the reading of Frankenstein?

Multiple times when mentioning frankenstein's appearance, its raining or snowing. also by his creation it is spring and renewal, and when he dies it is snowy and winter. am I on to something?

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Shelley's use of weather or other natural elements to symbolize human emotion is a pathetic fallacy.  In other words, while filmmakers, playwrights, and authors often set important scenes in corresponding weather, it is not logical to believe that the weather controls human emotion or vice versa. Pathetic fallacies are simply a device to enhance the mood or theme of a work.  Shelley, in particular, often uses the weather and seasons to relate her Romantic beliefs.  The Romantic authors believe that humans can learn from nature; it holds the answers to many of their philosophical questions.  You are right that it is not by mistake that Shelley describes the weather frequently and that it correlates with Victor's and the Monster's emotions.  A couple examples are:

1.  When Victor is 15, he witnesses a tree utterly destroyed by lightning.  This incident causes him to pursue a more scientifc avenue rather than the metaphysical interests he had had until that point.  This storm is a good example of nature teaching a character a lesson.

2.  On the night Victor brings the Monster to life, it is stormy and eerie. Victor knows that he is doing something unnatural; so Shelley uses the storm to show that nature is not pleased with Victor's actions.

3. During subsequent meetings between Victor and the Monster, the weather is threatening and ominous.  When Victor meets the Monster on the plateau, it is cold, and almost unbearable for a normal human to endure.  Likewise, as Victor pursues the Monster later in the novel, he must travel through extreme climates and conditions, representing the harsh struggle that ensues when man challenges nature.

4. When the characters such as Victor, Elizabeth, and Henry need soothing, they go out into nature when it is sunny or pleasant.

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