Mary Shelley

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Romanticism and Nature Theme Analysis

Themes and Colors
Family, Society, Isolation Theme Icon
Ambition and Fallibility Theme Icon
Romanticism and Nature Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
Lost Innocence Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Frankenstein, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Romanticism and Nature Theme Icon

Romantic writers portrayed nature as the greatest and most perfect force in the universe. They used words like "sublime" (as Mary Shelley herself does in describing Mont Blanc in Frankenstein) to convey the unfathomable power and flawlessness of the natural world. In contrast, Victor describes people as "half made up." The implication is clear: human beings, weighed down by petty concerns and countless flaws such as vanity and prejudice, pale in comparison to nature's perfection.

It should come as no surprise, then, that crises and suffering result when, in Frankenstein, imperfect men disturb nature's perfection. Victor in his pride attempts to discover the "mysteries of creation," to "pioneer a new way" by penetrating the "citadel of nature." But just as a wave will take down even the strongest swimmer, nature prevails in the end and Victor is destroyed for his misguided attempt to manipulate its power.

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Romanticism and Nature Quotes in Frankenstein

Below you will find the important quotes in Frankenstein related to the theme of Romanticism and Nature.
Chapter 4 Quotes
Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.
Related Characters: Victor Frankenstein (speaker)
Related Symbols: Light
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.
Related Characters: Victor Frankenstein (speaker), Robert Walton
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis: