How does Victor's mood change each time the setting changes in "Frankenstein"? I mean how is Victor attitude, health etc. when he goes to Geneva, Ingolstadt, Scottland, etc. I am trying...

How does Victor's mood change each time the setting changes in "Frankenstein"?

I mean how is Victor attitude, health etc. when he goes to Geneva, Ingolstadt, Scottland, etc. I am trying to right and essay and we need a site to reference for our literary element and I am having a hard time finding one for setting.

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Victor seems pulled to many of the novel's locations by one of two dueling impulses. When he goes to Ingolstadt, for university, he seems ruled by Enlightenment ideals. He abandons all of his relationships, except for the one with Professor Waldman, while he works on his creation. He is so fixated on his experiment and whether or not he will be successful that he fails to really consider what this creature's life will be like, or how it could affect his or anyone else's life. After the creature comes to life, Victor eventually moves back home to Geneva, and, after the deaths of William and Justine, he finds himself once more susceptible to the beauties of nature. He feels it, again, begin to lift his spirits; now, his aversion to science is extreme and he is receptive to nature's sublimity, feeling it change and better him: this is very Romantic. Victor has developed a violent antipathy toward anything having to do with scientific experimentation, abandoning his Enlightenment principles, preferring to be led by emotion and intuition, faculties he turned off, so to speak, while working on his creature. Later, in Scotland, forced once again to embrace science in order to create a companion for his creature, Victor becomes sullen and dejected, unable to enjoy nature as he had before. He seems to want to abandon Enlightenment ideals utterly, and when he cannot escape them, his health and happiness suffer.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shelley uses the connection with mental and physical health and nature throughout the book.  When Victor is closer to his home and surrounded by the mountains and lakes of his childhood, he is at greater peace than when he is in Ingolstadt or Scotland in the barren surroundings, isolated from nature and those he loves and creating a creature which is an abomination in the eyes of God.  Her point here is that when we neglect nature and neglect those with whom we are connected by love and family duty, we wander in an abyss similar to hell and are more likely to do sinful things.    Two of her main themes in the book are:  We have a duty to care unconditionally for the children we create (which Victor does not do and so therefore he creates much of the strife and discontent in his life), and Humans have no business playing God (which Victor, when isolated from God through nature and family, attempts to do).  She uses the representation of nature and weather to represent not only Victor's physical and mental health, but his relationship with God and where Victor stands with our own creator.

Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shelley's imagery helps to create the setting.  When the setting is calm and relaxed (while Victor is at home and when he is in the mountains), Victor finds himself mirroring his surroundings.  He, too, is calm and rejeuviinated when he is surrounded by nature, just like the plants and trees themselves.  When he is in his laboratory, the weather is described as dark and dreary, again mirroring Victor's internal conflict.  He struggles to complete his creation, and when he finally does (after two years), he promptly runs out on it.  Storms throughout the novel reflect the inner storms of both Victor and the Creature.  It is fitting that the final battle should take place in the Arctic where it is cold and there is little life sustained. 

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