Nature’s Function in Frankenstein
The authors of the Romantic period depicted nature as a celestial source. In numerous Romantic works, nature’s appeal is praised with pantheistic, nearly pagan, terms. To these writers, the natural world was a direct connection to god. Through appreciation for nature, one might attain spiritual satisfaction. The contrary, failure to give up to natural law, leads to penalty at the hands of nature. Mary Shelley, as well as her modern, Samuel Coleridge, portrays the antagonistic powers of nature versus those who attempt to provoke it.
Victor Frankenstein upsets nature in a number of ways. The firstly insult is his attempt to gain understanding prohibited to humankind. Then, he uses this knowledge to produce an abnormal being that serves no function in a natural world. Finally, Frankenstein refuses to take responsibility for his creation’s actions, which have obvious and dangerous consequences for society. By daring to tread on the laws of nature, Frankenstein ends up being the target of the natural world’s rage. He, much like the Ancient Mariner, suffers due punishment for his sin.
In both “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Frankenstein,” nature is represented as a magnificent power. It is a deific force, efficient in creating transcendental charm, in addition to causing dreadful torment upon those who break its laws. The Ancient Mariner’s crime is his senseless murder of the albatross; his punishment emerges through a series of natural phenomenon. Nature denies him and his men of natural elements, food and water, “Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.” (Coleridge 433). Nature also uses other natural aspects to trigger him further suffering.
For instance, the Mariner and his males should withstand the heat of the sun as their ship stops, the wind stops and heightens the heat, “Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down … “”All in a hot and copper sky, The bloody sun at noon.” (Coleridge 433). Frankenstein likewise deals with retribution for his disobedience to the laws of nature. His punishment, nevertheless, is not as easy as the Mariner’s. Nature bestows a much more harsh and spiteful fate upon Frankenstein. It uses Frankenstein’s animal against him, adopting his former object of pride and controling the creation into a weapon against its creator.
Deserted by its “father”, Frankenstein’s beast is required to seek another parental figure. It discovers one in Mother Nature. As the creature starts a lonely journey, nature teaches him the lessons that Frankenstein does not. The animal discovers of the threats of fire by burning its hand in the flame “One day, when I was oppressed by cold, I discovered a fire which had been left by some roaming beggars, and was overcome with delight at the heat I experienced from it. In my pleasure I thrust my hand into the live ashes, however rapidly drew it out once again with a cry of pain.
How weird, I believed, that the same cause needs to produce such opposite effects!” (Shelley 389). In other such lessons, Nature shapes its “kid” as a tool of vengeance. For instance, the animal finds out of it’s hideousness by seeing it’s reflection in a swimming pool of water,” In the beginning I drew back, not able to believe that it was certainly I who was reflected in the mirror; and when I became completely convinced that I was in reality the beast that I am, I was filled with the bitterest experiences of despondence and mortification. Unfortunately!
I did not yet entirely know the deadly results of this miserable deformity” (Shelley 431). This awareness stimulates anger within the monster, and its bitterness towards its creator grows. Nature utilizes Frankenstein’s hubristic personality versus him. When developing the beast, Victor Frankenstein provides it an enormous stature. He specifies that he did this due to his haste, “As the minuteness of the parts formed an excellent obstacle to my speed, I dealt with, contrary to my first objective, to make a being enormous in stature …” (Shelley 171).
Nevertheless, Frankenstein’s ambition likewise contributed in his decision to make the creature a physically daunting size, “A new species would bless me as its developer and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me” (Shelley 172). Here, Frankenstein states his desire to end up being the daddy of a supreme race of beings. By offering the creature a massive type, Frankenstein is ensuring that it will be dominant over other species. This is not only a danger to nature, but it likewise adds to the creature’s unnatural genesis.
The beast is unusually effective, as it has abilities far going beyond to any other types in the world. For that reason, it is something unnatural and can not be apart of the natural world. Nature, rather of removing the beast immediately, uses its physical superiority to tease Frankenstein’s pride. As the researcher starts his intense mission to take and eliminate the beast, he is continuously mocked by his own development’s power. Even at the end of his life, Frankenstein is still not able to catch the beast. The abnormal being has no real place or function in he natural world, so Nature utilizes the animal in the only suitable way: a tool for vengeance. This becomes the beast’s only role in the natural world. Once it has finally caused real penalty against Frankenstein, it will have no function. The monster does not belong in the natural world, and so it will be destroyed, “I, the unpleasant and the abandoned, am abortion, to be rejected at, and kicked, and trampled on” (Shelley 886). Vengeance is its only goal, when nature finally attains this objective it returns the monster back to nature.
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The creature’s birth was allied by the use of natural materials, human flesh and lightning, likewise its death is brought on by Nature’s aspects, fire, “I will collect my funeral stack, and consume to ashes this unpleasant frame, that its remains may afford no light to any curious and unhallowed scalawag, who would produce such another as I have actually been. I shall pass away.” (Shelley 889). The animal is of no usage to Nature any longer, therefore it needs to eliminate itself from the natural world. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Frankenstein” explains the scaries that arise from invoking nature’s rage.
The natural world, according to the Romantics, was a magnificent force. Like the pagan gods of Greek and Roman culture, nature’s wrath is horrible and unmerciful to those who attempt to incorrect it. Victor Frankenstein, the Promethean figure of the Romantic duration, defies nature in his choice to bring abnormal life into the natural world. This is an act of blasphemy versus nature, and to a level, “God” himself. Frankenstein’s penalty for this sin is both thorough and justified. Like Prometheus, Victor Frankenstein spends his staying life spending for his act of defiance against the gods of nature.