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Frankenstein, the Albatross, and Tintern Abbey

Themes are important in every story. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley has so many

different themes that they conflict with each other. One is the appreciation of nature and the

other is the condemnation of nature. To compare the admiration each speaker has for nature a

relation can be bridged from the poem “Lines Composed A Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” by

William Wordsworth. While looking at the condemnation of nature a comparison can be

traversed to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Shelley’s Victor

Frankenstein evokes the characteristics of both Wordsworth and the Ancient Mariner in the ways

in which he reacts to nature.

Shelley’s admiration of nature, which directly relates to Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey”,

is clearly illustrated when Dr. Frankenstein takes his halcyon walk through the woods. When

Shelley recites a passage from “Tintern Abbey” she embodies the emotions that were once

illustrated by Wordsworth so many years ago. She expounds upon the emotions that rage through

Victor as he takes his walk, these emotions are also prevalent in “Tintern Abbey” as Wordsworth

is revisiting this beloved sight. In these works nature takes the role of a restorative agent. Both

speakers are overcome with the sense of placidity that nature instills in them; Wordsworth

returns to pass on his amorousness for the Abbey to his sister, Dorothy, while Victor visits nature

to find peace after the deaths of his brother, William, his best friend, Clerval, and the family

servant, Justine.

“The sound cataract

Haunted him like a passion: the tall rock,

The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,

Their colours and their forms, were then to him

An appetite; a fee…

… middle of paper …

…strengths Shelley takes Victor into nature to

adhere to peace sought after the deaths of his loved ones. To symbolize his weaknesses she

exemplifies his lust for knowledge which leads to his creation of the monster, his personal

condemnation of the natural world. Each tale shines a new light upon the idea of man; how man

can be affected by his decisions and how those decisions affect the world around him.

Works Cited

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Prentice Hall Literature. Boston,

MA: Pearson Education, 2007. 730-53. Print. The British Tradition.

Shelley, Mary W. Frankenstein. New York, NY: Modern Library, 1999. Print.

Wordsworth, William. “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.” Prentice Hall

Literature. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, 2007. 709-13. Print. The British Tradition.

Social Responsibility in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – Wicked Social Practices Frankenstein essays

Wicked Social Practices Depicted in Frankenstein Whether people like it or not, society always summarizes a person’s characteristics by his or her physical appearance. Society has set an unbreakable code individuals must follow to be accepted. Those who don’t follow the “standard” are hated by the crowd and banned for the reason of being different. When the monster ventured into a town”…[monster] had hardly placed [his] foot within the door …children shrieked, and …women fainted” (101). From that moment on he realized that people did not like his appearance and hated him because of it. If villagers didn’t run away at the sight of him, then they might have even enjoyed his personality. The monster tried to accomplish this when he encountered the De Lacey family. The monster hoped to gain friendship from the old man and eventually his children. He knew that it could have been possible because the old man was blind, he could not see the monster’s repulsive characteristics. But fate was against him and the “wretched” had barely conversed with the old man before his children returned from their journey and saw a monstrous creature at the foot of their father attempting to do harm to the helpless elder. “Felix darted forward, and with supernatural force tore [the creature] from his father…” (129). Felix’s action caused great inner pain to the monster. He knew that his dream of living with them “happily ever after” would not happen. After that bitter moment the monster believed that “…the human senses are insurmountable barriers to our union [with the monster]” (138) and with the De Lacey encounter still fresh in his mind along with his first encounter of humans, he declared war on the human race. The wicked being’s source of hatred toward humans originates from his first experiences with humans. In a way the monster started out with a child-like innocence that was eventually shattered by being constantly rejected by society time after time. His first encounter with humans was when he opened his yellow eyes for the first time and witnessed Victor Frankenstein, his creator, “…rush out of the [laboratory]…” (56). This wouldnt have happened if society did not consider physical appearance to be important. If physical appearance were not important then the creature would have had a chance of being accepted into the community with love and care. But society does believe that physical appearance is important and it does influence the way people act towards each other. Frankenstein should have made him less offending if even he, the creator, could not stand his disgusting appearance. There was a moment however when Frankenstein “…was moved…” (139) by the creature. He “…felt what the duties of a creator…” (97) were and decided that he had to make another creature, a companion for the original. But haunting images of his creation (from the monster’s first moment of life) gave him an instinctive feeling that the monster would do menacing acts with his companion, wreaking twice the havoc! Reoccurring images of painful events originating from a first encounter could fill a person with hate and destruction. We as a society are the ones responsible for the transformation of the once child-like creature into the monster we all know.

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