Nature Symbolism In Frankenstein

Good Essays
“It was a dark and stormy night…” A classic. A cliche. This short phrase is a gothic precursor to many famous books as well as a got-to for starting a campfire ghost story. But why is this hook so effective? Well, the author 's job in an introduction is to establish the setting, introduce main characters, and, most importantly, set the tone of the story. Using words like ‘dark’ and ‘stormy’ adds a tone of horror that would be seen in a gothic novel. These adjectives give a greatly different feel than words such as ‘mild’, ‘sunny’, and ‘glorious’. The latter words would more commonly be utilized in the introduction of a Romantic novel. As a mostly Gothic writer, Shelley takes Victor’s connection to nature to its extreme. The author uses both …show more content…
A storybook picture of spring conjures up images of birds chirping, flowers budding, and green grass growing. Spring means animals giving birth to their young and a cycle of new life beginning. Between spring cleaning and new plants growing, spring is a classic symbol of a fresh start. In Frankenstein, Victor shows his Romantic side through his strong connection with nature and its beauty. After Walton meets Victor and learns of his suffering, it is obvious to Walton that “Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than [Victor] does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. (30)” Victor recognizes how sublime nature is and it’s ability to be greater than anything he is dealing with. It gives him strength and happiness to know their is something greater at work. He finds solace in nature after he hears about the death of William. He states, …show more content…
This is a repetitive theme throughout the book. Because of Victor’s perpetual connection with nature, with a change in setting the reader can expect a change in Victor’s mood or a change in the trajectory of the plot. Like the changing of seasons, weather is also a prevalent foreshadower of evil to come. At one point in Frankenstein, on page 197 the book describes the weather saying “...how happy and serene all nature appears!(197)” and in the blink of an eye one page later on 198 the weather changes and “Suddenly a heavy storm of rain descended.(198)” This change in scenery creates a somber mood and shortly after this, Elizabeth, Victor’s bride-to-be, is violently murdered at the hands of the creature. This classic gloomy setting is the appropriate backdrop for the horrible event that takes place. Shelley is demonstrating the gothic side of her novel by pairing a horror plot twist with a dreary setting. Along with complementing the dismal plot line at that point in the book, the storm also represents what Victor feels internally. The monster has taken everything from him and he wonders aloud, “Great God! Why did I not then expire! Why am I here to relate the destruction of the best hope and the purest creature on earth?(199)” Like the weather, he feels dark and

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The effect of nature on the story is evident in the following passage: “During the whole…the desolate or terrible” (Poe 127). Poe’s dark use of Romantic elements even further classifies these two stories as Gothic…

    • 1313 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Extracts derived from Letter IV of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein foreshadows the elementary ideas that are instilled during the course of the novel. Throughout key ideas and motifs such as the pursuit of knowledge and the dangers involved, appreciation for nature and the sublime, elements that make this a gothic text, the recurring motif of life and death or light and dark. These ideas are found throughout the text and consistently recur. Shelley instilled these ideas because of the political perspectives that would have influenced her, her husband the romantic poet P.B Shelley her father William Goodwin and his friend the Scientist Erasmus Darwin. The pursuit of knowledge and the dangers involved in that is perhaps the most repetitive moral…

    • 1072 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    1). For example, Gothic works embraced imagination, as did Romantic literature, but was very different from other genres mainly in its focus on supernatural events. Also, the focus on the dark side of human nature showed how dark and gloomy the writer’s sight for the future was (Gale par. 1). A lot of the time, the stories and poems written during the Gothic movement had a main characteristic that made the audience think.…

    • 1760 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Gloomy, dreary, creepy, forbidding, dark, horror, and fear, are all words that describe gothic literature. Gothic literature is something that the writer Edgar Allan Poe has much knowledge about, for he has written many gothic short stories and poems. Such as the short stories like, “The Black Cat”, “Tell Tale Heart”, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, and “Masque of the Red Death”. Also displayed in his poems, “Alone”, “Annabel Lee”, “The Raven”, and somewhat of “The Bells”. To a great extent, Edgar Allan Poe’s writing is for the most part is gothic, as portrayed in most of his work.…

    • 1442 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Later, gothic fiction expanded the significance of setting with Emily Bronte’s, Wuthering Heights. Shifts in the setting offer readers presumption about the nature of innocence and evil…

    • 1861 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley definitely qualifies to be placed in the horror genre of books. It has many of the elements needed to be a horror story. There are many extreme and lonely landscapes in Frankenstein, for example, the desolate island that Victor creates and destroys Frankenstein’s companion. The mysterious atmosphere also keeps the reader guessing what will happen next, and the creation of Frankenstein is also supernatural but it is explained in the story. There is also very high emotions within the story, from the byronic hero Victor, to his creation Frankenstein, and the other supporting characters.…

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The choice of characters, the way that the setting was thought out and the use of gothic literature made this novel well rounded and interesting. Shelley used such detail when it came to describing the events that took place throughout the novel, making it such a dynamic piece. If Mary Shelley did not use the precise details twisted thoughts, then Frankenstein would not have been the same. The gothic themes portrayed throughout this novel go above and beyond the stereotypical expectations of a scary story. This story was wonderfully horrific, mysterious in all the right ways and frightening just like a gothic novel should…

    • 743 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    These elements do everything from expanding the setting to emphasizing the idea of isolation; things that are important in distinguishing a poem as being in the Gothic genre. Poe is known for writing Gothic pieces, “The Raven” being one of many, and it is his choice of genre that lets the reader get a small peak into the tragedy and trauma that Poe endured in his life, and how it seems that he subsequently used poetry as a creative outlet for all those…

    • 1019 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The novel “Castle of Otranto” is a medieval fiction that includes the typical elements for the period- romance, love, knights, fear and damnation. Walpole’s work features several twists and turns along the way. People have always been interested by the power of the supernatural and how it manages to influence their lives. What is more, we can say that it has been intertwined with the spiritual and religious part of our lives. Not by chance, in this gothic fiction, its author Horace Walpole manages to combine the supernatural elements of the Old Romance and the ordinary…

    • 2177 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “Gothic novels allowed writers and readers to explore these ideas through the medium of storytelling. Ghosts, death and decay, madness, curses, and so-called 'things that go bump in the night ' provided ways to explore fear of the unknown and what control we have as humans over the unknown”(Marinaro). Before Gothic literature there…

    • 1396 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays