Holding true to the romantic style, Shelley’s characters display strong emotions when experiencing or confronting the sublimity of an untamed nature and its picturesque qualities. This theme is complexly utilized in blurring the differences between human and monster. The demonstrated emotional sensibility from the daemon ties him as a foil to Victor and to humanity in general. “The pleasant sunshine, and the pure air of day restored me to some degree of tranquility;” (139). Previously characterized solely by frightful appearance and allegations of monstrous violence, the daemon’s own narrative, replete with the restorative quality of nature to his own miseries, are synonymous to Victor’s experiences: “These sublime and magnificent scenes….although they did not remove my grief, they subdued and tranquillized it” (99).
However, the natural wonders that inspire these emotions in the daemon and Victor suggest a role reversal. Victor’s obsession with scenes of magnificent desolation and destructive power directly contrast the socially oriented humanity that celebrated characters, such as Clerval and Elizabeth, share. “The immense mountains and precipices that overhung me on every side – the sound of the river raging….spoke of a power mighty as Omnipotence….Ruined castles hanging on the precipices of piny mountains…” (97) The image here that reinvigorates Victor’s melancholy sensitivities is not one of celebration of life and happiness but rather of destructive power. Victor is lifted by the perceived omnipotence of the... [continues]
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