Miguel EscamillaMrs. ButenschoenAP English20 January, 2018How Mary Shelley Used Nature in Frankenstein In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the use of nature is very prominent in the metaphors and similes Shelley uses. Early on in the book, she decides to include many nature themed descriptions, such as the mountain river, and beds of flowers which represent the feelings and emotions expressed by the characters in ways more profound than traditional, run of the mill words could. Throughout the entire book Shelly uses nature as a restorative factor for the characters, especially Victor. Early on in the book the nature references are very obvious, for example, when Shelly states “I feel pleasure in dwelling on the recollections of childhood, before misfortune had tainted my mind, and changed its bright visions of extensive usefulness into gloomy and narrow reflections upon self… I find it arise, like a mountain river, from ignoble and almost forgotten sources; but swelling as it proceeded, it became the torrent which, in its course, has swept away all my hopes and joys.” (Shelley, 21). Shelley’s clever use of the mountain river at the beginning of the book could be a metaphor that compares Victors emotions and feelings to a river, in the sense that they both have a continuous downward flow. Using a nature metaphor this early on in the book suggests that Shelley much prefered to go for a more natural, serene way to express feelings rather than detailed descriptions. Shelley’s use of nature is at a peak point after the murders of his close loved ones. After William and Justine had been murdered by the monster, Victor was greatly affected, especially because of William, he was in a very depressed, lonely mood. At one point Victor says “I remained two days at Lausanne, in this painful state of mind. I contemplated the lake: the waters were placid; all around was calm, and the snowy mountains, “the palaces of nature,” were not changed. By degrees the calm and heavenly scene restored me, and I continued my journey towards Geneva.” (Shelly 47). In this quote it shows how Victor finds relaxation and peacefulness in nature, which helped him heal his emotional wounds faster. This writing technique of using nature as something restorative, as a type of medicine, as relaxing, is shown time and time again in Frankenstein. Although nature is perceived to be relaxing, peaceful, and healing, which it beyond a doubt is, Victor goes against the laws of mother nature itself despite being so comforted and healed by it. Victor is a very intelligent man, he studies at the University of Ingolstadt for very little and soon discovers how to create a life, how to make a living, breathing, and most importantly, feeling thing. Bringing the dead back to life is extremely unnatural, especially since Victor uses the body parts of not just one, but multiple dead people. Nature is an incredible force, but once humans decide to go against it, everything is destined to be doomed and Frankenstein is an amazing example of this. Take the monster for example, shortly after it was created its own creator hated it, Victor says “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.” (Shelley 48) For at the first sight of his creation Victor was amazed and felt glorified at the creation of the monster, soon enough this love turned to shock, then fear then hate, or how he described it “But now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room and continued a long time traversing my bed-chamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep” (Shelley 49). The monster was very confused at first, having no parents, unaware of where it came from, it was completely isolated and lost. At a certain point in the book Victor eventually just blames fate instead of taking responsibility of his actions “I thank you,” he replied, “for your sympathy, but it is useless; my fate is nearly fulfilled. I wait but for one event, and then I shall repose in peace. (Shelley 15). The final question and possibly the most important one in the book, is the monster natural? Obviously physically not, being merged from multiple dead people and being brought back from the death goes against every law in nature, but is the monster human? What defines us as humans? We’re made of flesh and blood, we have organs, we have a brain, we have all of the 100 billion synapses firing in our brain every second. The monster does also, the monster has a fully functional body exactly like ours, so what makes it different? Many would argue that it is the emotional side that makes it non human, but the flaw in that is that the monster was fully able to feel emotions just like us. It could feel anger and this is shown when it says “When I reflected on his crimes and malice, my hatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation. I would have made a pilgrimage to the highest peak of the Andes, could I when there have precipitated him to their base. (Shelley 86). So, what is the answer? Some might believe that it would be on the religious side, the question being does the monster have a soul? What are the factors that enable us to have a soul? Many existential questions in the book are still to be answered despite the fact that Frankenstein was written exactly 200 years ago. One of the reasons Frankenstein is such a timeless classic is its ability to connect with almost every single person who reads it, it touches a huge range of subjects varying from feminism to abandonment, to pretty much about anything you can think of. Shelley was an amazing writer and Frankenstein is beyond a doubt one of her best pieces of literature. Shelley’s choice in words and metaphors was incredible and it’s not a surprise that we are still reading it to this day. She used comparisons from the real world and older times to stitch together a, some would say, perfect novel. An example of this is one of the mains characters, Victor, who with a little digging, is found to represent a scientist from the Age of Enlightenment in the late 1700’s. Overall Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein uses amazing writing techniques that show that you don’t always have to include exact details, it is achievable to show more emotion, and cause more feeling in the reader by using imagery, metaphors, and similes with something everyone in the world can connect with. Nature.