Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, is a writer who was greatly influenced by the Romantic era in which she lived. In fact, she moved among the greatest talents of the English Romantic writers including her poet/husband Percy Shelley and their poet/friend Lord Byron. Her writing was also influenced by the other great Romantic poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, whose ideas she either directly quotes or paraphrases in Frankenstein. Since Mary Shelley was so intimate with these great talents of the Romantic movement, it is quite natural that her most famous work Frankenstein reflects many of the Romantic trends and devices.
Natural and remote settings are essential aspects in Romantic writing. Many Romantics find comfort from the natural scenery and nature as a common place to release their ideas. Most of the time their settings will be located in some unusual or unknown place. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is no exception to that rule. This novel is placed in modern times to accent the application of contemporary science. One may infer that this particular story transpires in a strange environment to create a realm unknown to the readers. Victor Frankenstein creates his monster in an secluded room located at the top of his university in Germany. In order to create this monster, Victor Frankenstein went in search of various body parts at a grave yard. Victor states: "I pursued nature to her hiding-places. Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave or tortured the living animals to animate lifeless clay? .. . I collected bones from charnelhouses ... the secrets of the human frame" (Shelley 39). Victor journeys to one of the most faraway parts of Scotland. He shortly commences his work at procreating a second creature, a female companion, for his hideous monstrosity. Victor Frankenstein's next destination is Mont Blanc. He seems to find solace in the presentation of the different sides of nature. Once again, Victor returns to the beautiful mountains and glorious streams in order to receive "the greatest consolation" (Shelley 80). This picturesque scene had a calming effect on his most recent disturbance. It allowed him to some how divert his mind from the horror that was right before him. He seeks relaxation and he finds it by sitting at the top of a rock on a sea of ice. Victor is constantly reminded of his troubles, but just the thought of this sweet serenity makes him forget about his present problems. Victor exclaims, "Wandering spirits, if indeed ye wander, and do not rest in your narrow beds , allow me this faint happiness, or take me, as your companion, away from the joys of life" (Shelly 82). Victor's current dispositions is a classic example of the typical Romantic characteristics.
The guilt-ridden wanderer and the solitary outcast so prevalent in Romantic literature appear in the form of both Victor and his monster. In...