What are some ideas for an essay addressing the following question? "With reference to Frankenstein, discuss how physical locations are represented in ways that explore emotional and/or...

What are some ideas for an essay addressing the following question? "With reference to Frankenstein, discuss how physical locations are represented in ways that explore emotional and/or psychological aspects of human experience."

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You might discuss the effects of nature on Victor (and on his creature); they respond with a great deal of emotion to their natural surroundings. After the deaths of William and Justine, the Frankenstein family goes to the valley of Chamounix, and Victor says that "These sublime and magnificent scenes afforded me the greatest consolation that I was capable of receiving. They elevated me from all littleness of feeling; and although they did not remove my grief, they subdued and tranquillized it." Again and again, he describes the natural beauty of their surroundings as "sublime," as having an effect on his mind and heart which is the result of nature's overwhelming grandeur and power. Further, he says, "The sight of the awful and majestic in nature had indeed always the effect of solemnizing my mind, and causing me to forget the passing cares of life." It is as though Victor's spirit and his heart are refreshed and renewed by nature.

However, the scene in which he next sees his creature is as volatile as the emotions the sight of him engenders. The "icy and glittering peaks shone" as the monster "bounded over crevices in the ice" with "superhuman speed." The "cold gale" blowing down from the mountains chills Victor's skin just as the sight of his monster chills his heart. Here, the violence of Victor's antipathy toward the creature matches the violence of the natural setting: it is harsh and bitter, just like Victor's emotions at this moment.

Back at home, in Geneva, Victor's health is "much restored," as it declined somewhat after his confrontation with the monster on the ice. He says that "the fresh air and bright sun seldom failed to restore me to some degree of composure [...]." His father pressures him to marry Elizabeth now, and Victor must beg for time so that he can fulfill his promise to create a mate for his creature. He leaves Geneva to travel, but as "the slave of [his] creature," he is insensible to the charms of the natural beauty around him as he and Clerval see Europe. When Victor is healthy, and unsaddled by grief, he is able to enjoy nature; more than that, nature seems capable of elevating him spiritually and emotionally. However, when he is burdened or guilt-ridden, the beauty of nature seems to only make him feel worse.

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Frankenstein

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