The writers of the Romantic duration represented nature as a celestial source. In many Romantic works, nature’s charm is applauded with pantheistic, practically pagan, terms. To these writers, the natural world was a direct connection to god.
Through gratitude for nature, one could attain spiritual satisfaction. The contrary, failure to give up to natural law, leads to penalty at the hands of nature. Mary Shelley, as well as her modern, Samuel Coleridge, depicts the antagonistic powers of nature versus those who dare to provoke it.
Victor Frankenstein angers nature in a number of ways. The most importantly insult is his attempt to get knowledge forbidden to mankind. Then, he utilizes this understanding to create an abnormal being that serves no function in a natural world. Lastly, Frankenstein refuses to take obligation for his creation’s actions, which have obvious and dangerous repercussions for society. By daring to tread on the laws of nature, Frankenstein ends up being the target of the natural world’s wrath. He, much like the Ancient Mariner, suffers due penalty for his sin.
In both “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Frankenstein,” nature is represented as a magnificent power. It is a deific force, efficient in creating transcendental beauty, along with inflicting horrific torment upon those who break its laws. The Ancient Mariner’s crime is his ridiculous murder of the albatross; his punishment presents itself through a series of natural phenomenon. Nature deprives him and his guys of natural components, food and water, “Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.” (Coleridge 433). Nature also utilizes other natural aspects to cause him further suffering.
For instance, the Mariner and his men should sustain the heat of the sun as their ship stops, the wind stops and intensifies the heat, “Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down … “”All in a hot and copper sky, The bloody sun at noon.” (Coleridge 433). Frankenstein likewise deals with retribution for his disobedience to the laws of nature. His punishment, however, is not as basic as the Mariner’s. Nature bestows a much more cruel and spiteful fate upon Frankenstein. It utilizes Frankenstein’s creature versus him, embracing his former object of pride and manipulating the production into a weapon versus its developer.
Deserted by its “father”, Frankenstein’s monster is required to look for another parental figure. It discovers one in Mother Nature. As the animal starts a lonely journey, nature teaches him the lessons that Frankenstein does not. The animal discovers of the dangers of fire by burning its hand in the flame “One day, when I was oppressed by cold, I discovered a fire which had actually been left by some wandering beggars, and was conquered with delight at the warmth I experienced from it. In my joy I thrust my hand into the live embers, however quickly drew it out again with a cry of discomfort.
How strange, I thought, that the same cause must produce such opposite effects!” (Shelley 389). In other such lessons, Nature forms its “child” as a tool of revenge. For instance, the creature discovers of it’s hideousness by seeing it’s reflection in a swimming pool of water,” Initially I drew back, not able to believe that it was indeed I who was shown in the mirror; and when I became totally persuaded that I remained in truth the beast that I am, I was filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence and mortification. Alas!
I did not yet totally understand the deadly impacts of this unpleasant deformity” (Shelley 431). This realization stimulates anger within the monster, and its bitterness towards its creator grows. Nature uses Frankenstein’s hubristic disposition against him. When producing the beast, Victor Frankenstein offers it an enormous stature. He mentions that he did this due to his haste, “As the minuteness of the parts formed an excellent barrier to my speed, I solved, contrary to my first intent, to make a being enormous in stature …” (Shelley 171).
However, Frankenstein’s aspiration also contributed in his decision to make the creature a physically daunting size, “A brand-new species would bless me as its developer and source; numerous pleased and exceptional natures would owe their being to me” (Shelley 172). Here, Frankenstein states his desire to become the daddy of a supreme race of beings. By giving the creature a huge form, Frankenstein is assuring that it will be dominant over other species. This is not only a danger to nature, however it also adds to the creature’s abnormal genesis.
The beast is unusually powerful, as it has abilities far exceeding to any other species in the world. For that reason, it is something abnormal and can not be apart of the natural world. Nature, instead of getting rid of the beast straight away, uses its physical superiority to tease Frankenstein’s pride. As the researcher starts his intense mission to seize and kill the beast, he is constantly buffooned by his own development’s power. Even at the end of his life, Frankenstein is still unable to catch the monster. The unnatural being has no true place or purpose in he natural world, so Nature utilizes the creature in the only suitable way: a tool for revenge. This becomes the beast’s only role in the natural world. Once it has actually lastly caused real punishment versus Frankenstein, it will have no purpose. The monster does not belong in the natural world, therefore it will be damaged, “I, the miserable and the deserted, am abortion, to be rejected at, and kicked, and stomped on” (Shelley 886). Revenge is its only objective, when nature lastly achieves this intention it returns the beast back to nature.
The creature’s birth was allied by the use of natural products, human flesh and lightning, likewise its death is caused by Nature’s components, fire, “I will collect my funeral stack, and consume to ashes this unpleasant frame, that its remains may manage no light to any curious and unhallowed wretch, who would produce such another as I have been. I shall die.” (Shelley 889). The animal is of no usage to Nature any longer, and so it must remove itself from the natural world. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Frankenstein” explains the horrors that arise from conjuring up nature’s rage.
The natural world, according to the Romantics, was a divine force. Like the pagan gods of Greek and Roman culture, nature’s rage is terrible and unmerciful to those who dare to incorrect it. Victor Frankenstein, the Promethean figure of the Romantic duration, defies nature in his decision to bring unnatural life into the natural world. This is an act of blasphemy versus nature, and to an extent, “God” himself. Frankenstein’s penalty for this sin is both extensive and justified. Like Prometheus, Victor Frankenstein spends his remaining life paying for his act of defiance versus the gods of nature.