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A Comparative Essay On "Frankenstein" And "Jane Eyre".

1144 words - 5 pages

The following is a critical essay of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" using Romanticism as a basis. I decided that I would pick those aspects of romanticism that I found most prevalent and interesting in the texts. After reading these stories, I realized that there were many ideas relating to Romanticism in the texts, some of them being variations of its definition; yet, they relate nonetheless.Nature is a common theme in Romanticism. There is often an increasing interest or fascination with nature. This is shown in Jane Eyre, when Jane is fascinated with the moon. Nature can also be used to reflect the moods of the characters. It is used most frequently in the following two ways: as a powerful entity to convey some idea to one of the main characters, and as the counter force opposing the corrupting force of society. For example, the moon may convey ideas of comfort, a soothing force against the anger established by society. Lightening, on the other hand, may serve as a warning, keeping the character on his proper path to enlightenment. In these two texts, nature shows its power many times to the main characters of Jane Eyre, Rochester, Victor Frankenstein, and the Monster. These characters both use nature as their one reference point, the one thing that will not change and will not turn against them. In these texts, nature is constantly refereed by feminine terms. This further supports the romanticism theory; in that, men are portrayed as the rough side of society, while women are portrayed as polished and refined side. The masculine society corrupts, while the feminine nature perfects.In Frankenstein, Victor's main reason for creating the Monster was the death of Caroline Beaufort, his mother. Before his mother's death, nature I referred female when Victor comments on Isaac Newton's studies by saying that he "partially unveiled the face of nature, but her immortal lineaments were still a wonder and a mystery"(Shelley), referring to nature as "her".After her mother's death Victor looks toward the maternal nature when he realizes that there is something missing, which he looks toward nature to replace. Victor then plans to bring life to something "where death has devoted the body to corruption", which shows his longing for his mother and his want to bring her back to life. Victor then begins his attempt to recreate life from death. At this point, nature is again described as being female when Victor says, "the moon gazed on my midnight labors, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding places."(Shelley) Victor then decides to focus his whole life on creating life from death. He succeeds, however, his creation frightens him and he uses sleep as an escape from it. Then he dreams of his cousin Elizabeth, where the powers of nature prevail again when Elizabeth turns into his dead mother's corpse and worms cover her body. This reminds Victor that he cannot control nature's powers....

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