The Theme of Appearance in Frankenstein
Frankenstein is to be “sometimes considered one of the first science fiction novels” (Fox,stacy ”Romantic and Gothic Representation in Frankenstein”). Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley. In this novel the main characters where Victor Frankenstein, his creation the monster, Robert Walton, Elizabeth Lavenza, Alphonse Frankenstein, and Henry Clerval. Frankenstein starts out with a normal boy named Victor Frankenstein who discovers an early interest in science. Victor later goes off to college to study science and ends up creating a monster. Throughout the novel the monster is stereotyped by his looks and is traumatized and goes for revenge against his creator when Victor refuses to make him a identical monster. The theme of appearances are most evident in Frankenstein through the monsters struggle with his appearance, the extensive focus on the natural beauty of the world, and the association of ugliness to evil, and beauty to good.The theme of appearance is most evident in the novel because of the focus on the natural beauty of the world. Mary Shelley is very descriptive of how the monster is viewing the world for the first time. Within this quote the monster is discovering the beauty of night and day, “Soon a gentle light stole over the heavens, and gave me a sensation of pleasure. I started up, and beheld a radiant form rise from among the trees. I gazed with a kind of wonder. It moved slowly, but it enlightened my path; and I again went out in search of berries. I was still cold, when under one of the trees I found a huge cloak, with which I covered myself, and sat down upon the ground. No distinct ideas occupied my mind; all was confused. I felt light, and hunger, and thirst, and darkness; innumerable sounds rung in my ears, and on all sides various scents saluted me: the only object that I could distinguish was the bright moon, and I fixed my eyes on that with pleasure” (Shelley 73). Within that quote the monster learns the beauty of the moon and how with the light of the moon he can still forage for food. Also how Victor first discovers science through lightning striking a tree. “As I stood at the door, on a sudden I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak which stood about twenty yards from our house; and so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump. When we visited it the next morning, we found the tree shattered in a singular manner. It was not splintered by the shock, but entirely reduced to thin ribbons of wood. I never beheld anything so utterly destroyed” (Shelley 23). Through this quote Mary Shelley is describing how the natural world is at once beautiful yet capable of destruction at the same time and this natural occurrence is what spurs Victors fascination with science. Also in the book Victor uses the natural beauty of the world to escape from his troubles in the world, “The summer months passed while I was thus engaged, heart and soul, in one pursuit. It was a most beautiful season; never did the fields bestow a more plentiful harvest or the vines yield a more luxuriant vintage, but my eyes were insensible to the charms of nature. And the same feelings which made me neglect the scenes around me caused me also to forget those friends who were so many miles absent, and whom I had not seen for so long a time. I knew my silence disquieted them, and I well remembered the words of my father: "I know that while you are pleased with yourself you will think of us with affection, and we shall hear regularly from you. You must pardon me if I regard any interruption in your correspondence as a proof that your other duties are equally neglected" (Shelley 34). The natural beauty of the foliage during the summer months lets victors mind wander away from stress. Also the natural beauty of the world has a way of bringing out emotion, “I wept like a child. "Dear mountains! my own beautiful lake! how...
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