Frankenstein

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Frankenstein's Transformation

Over the course of Frankenstein, Viktor Frankenstein undergoes a drastic emotional transformation as a result of his experiments which resulted in the creation of his Creature. Frankenstein's trips to Montavert, and his descriptions of the scene on his solitary excursions, show a clear sense of an emotional 'before and after.' In his visits to Montavert before the birth of his Creature, Frankenstein saw a sublime and beautiful scene. However, his accounts are drastically different - upset, guilty and disturbed - when Viktor returns, after leaving his Creature and experiencing the deaths of his brother William, and the wrongful execution of Justine Moritz. These drastic changes in Frankenstein's emotions are shown through his portrayals of nature. These changes in Frankenstein can also be seen as a parallel to the changes undergone by Mary Shelley in her own life, reflecting the disillusionment she felt with Romantic literature.

One of the most unique aspects of Romanticism is the way that nature portrays the emotions of the writer. Unlike the mimesis of nature employed by their Neoclassical and Humanist predecessors, Romantic writers used nature as a mirror of their emotions, and contorted their natural surroundings to describe their specific feelings. This is a central tenet of Romanticism and key in understanding the major mental and emotional shifts undergone by Viktor Frankenstein throughout the novel. The natural imagery in this passage is interesting because it shows the emotions and feelings of Frankenstein before and after his experimentations with the Creature. Before, the views of Montavert had "filled me with a sublime ecstacy that gave wings to the soul, and allowed it to soar from the obscure world to light and joy. The sight of the awful and majestic in nature had indeed always the effect of solemnizing my mind, and causing me to forget the passing cares in life" (958). The views of Montavert had before given...
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