Nature’s Benefits

While many blog posts may seem to focus on their reaction to the Frankenstein app, I hope to address an essential part of the novel that has not been fully discussed. This essential component of the novel deals with Nature important role in Victor’s life. Although Victor thinks he can outsmart Nature with his scientific knowledge creation, he certainly benefits and finds some peace and comfort when he encounters with Nature. Victor’s relationship with Nature reflects Victor’s dependence on it and its close bond to Victor.

Victor is physically dependent on the benevolent provisions of Nature in order to help him recover from sickness. He becomes attached to the Natural environment by observing and enjoying the Nature’s provisions. This is noted in his physical recovery process after his professors, Waldman and Krempe, torment him from their commendations of his scientific achievements. Despite Victor’s initial sickness, his “health and spirits [are] restored” and he “gain[s] additional strength from the salubrious air [he] breathes” and “the natural incidents” that occur with himself and Henry (Shelley 94). The kindness of nature soothes Victor’s physical pains and, as a result, it enhances his overall well-being. Nature provides full restoration, which Victor lacks even while Henry is with him. And it is this benefitting relationship that leads Victor to depend on Nature.

This dependence and benefit is not only manifested in Ingolstadt, but also wherever he goes. Victor also is emotionally uplifted as he begins on his journey. When he finally reaches Geneva, Victor narrates that “the calm and heavenly scene” at Lausanne “restore[s]” him. Because of this experience and more of his comforting experiences around the world, he continues by admiring the “palaces of nature” for their great ability to revive his painful state of mind (Shelley 97). In this portion of the story, Victor is becoming totally dependent on Nature’s kindness. His emotions are attached to the beauty of Nature that he sees, and this produces the closeness he experiences. He is certainly comforted, and even gladdened, by how Nature assists him to gain some peace in the midst of the chaos he is going through. This reflects nature’s benevolence towards Victor and he finds appreciates and depends on it.

As the story progresses, Victor becomes more dependent on Nature than on people and this is revealed in his relationship even to his family. Because Victor seems to remain in a depressed mood, his father marries him to Elizabeth who has been his closest companion since childhood. The father hopes Elizabeth will be restore his happiness and his former pleasant character. However, after his wedding, Victor is still unhappy, and as a result, he returns to Nature’s pleasant scenery to cheer him up. Away from his bride and father, Victor watches the scene[s] of beauty still more interesting,” “the innumerable fish that are swimming in the clear waters, where [he] can distinguish every pebble that lies at the bottom,” and observe how “happy and serene Nature appears” (Shelley 196). Victor decides not to enjoy Elizabeth and his family on his wedding night, but finds pleasure and joy with Nature’s benevolent provisions. Instead of drawing closer to his family and wife, he draws closer to Nature. By so doing, he depends on Nature more than his family, to soothe his pain and misery. Victor’s conscious action to attach himself to Nature’s greatness and neglect his family shows his strong dependence on it.

1 comment
  1. You’re certainly right, Posi, that Victor draws a certain sustenance from nature. I’m not sure that I agree with your interpretation of the events on his wedding day, but we could clear that up with a quick reference to the text.

    It would be interesting to think about the role of Frankenstein in the Romantic period, where poets like Byron, Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Mary Shelley’s husband Percy frequently wrote about nature. The Romantics privilege a certain kind of nature and natural experiences, and it could be useful to trace how Frankenstein’s experiences and ways of looking are similar or dissimilar.

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