Permanence In Frankenstein

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Surrendering to Nature: Regrowing from Humanity’s Fall from the Natural World
“If you trust in Nature, in what is simple in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble… then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge,” claims Rainer Maria Rilke. In his Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke shares his faith in nature as a wiser entity and advises others to do the same. He emphasizes the beauty in simplicity, and in allowing our place in the natural world to guide us. This ideology follows
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Shelley uses diction connoting permanence to express one’s unwillingness to surrender to nature’s law, thus suffering irreversible consequences. In Frankenstein, Shelley employs diction connoting permanence such as “eternal” and “never” (Shelley 152) to describe Victor’s failure in achieving regrowth due to his inability to accept his place in the natural order. Victor stubbornly maintains his ideology that he transcends nature, refusing to consider that he only possesses a false sense of power. Because of this single mindedness, Victor’s separation from nature is permanent as it prevents him actualizing the surrender necessary for regrowth. He remains stuck in an everlasting misery, portraying no hope for an acceptance back into the natural order. In this, Shelley warns the individual of the lost opportunity of return to the natural order when one refuses to surrender his hubris. Shelley reinforces this argument with the diction choice of “sunk” (152). The word “sunk” is synonymous to the words descend or drop, creating a feeling of heaviness. To Victor, being “sunk” is permanent; his arrogant mindset that men exceed nature “chain[s]” (152) him down, not allowing him to “rise” (Rilke l. 13) as Rilke describes in his poem. This obstinacy as his “chain” prevents him from reconciling with nature. Just as Victor’s sense of superiority prevents him from accepting his natural place, Rilke describes humanity’s vice as “arrogance” (l. 8). Shelley and Rilke both portray that one’s arrogance is the root of his dissonance between himself and nature. The word “arrogance” juxtaposes the word “surrendered” (Rilke l. 11), which requires a notion of humility. Rilke emphasizes the necessity of this “surrender,” and therefore humility, in order to “rise.” Shelley and Rilke both include the diction choice of “rise”; yet, Rilke precedes it with

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