How is the setting important to Frankenstein?

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Shelley's novel takes us from the North Pole to Geneva, the Alps, France, England, and Scotland. Two important settings are the Alps and the frozen wastes of the North Pole.

After his long, obsessive project of making a living creature from inanimate parts, Frankenstein takes a trip to Mont Blanc to heal his soul. Romantics like Mary Shelley believed nature had healing powers. They especially picked out sublime spots like Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the French Alps. The sublime is that which inspires a mixture of terror and awe in the human soul, putting the human spirit in touch with both God's power and the beauty of his creation. This is meant to impress humility on a person, who recognizes he is but a tiny speck amid the grandeur of God's nature. Of course, lack of humility is one of Frankenstein's downfalls, for he competes with God when he creates life and as consequence cannot find a healing peace in nature, even if he can identify with the power of the great mountains.


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