The Effects of Interfering with Nature
Romanticism had a very large presence in Mary Shelley??™s life. She was married to one of the leading Romantic poets and friends with many others. When writing her novel, Frankenstein, she stemmed many concepts in the story from Romantic ideals, one being nature and its immense strength and power. Nature is a marvel and should be left alone. In her novel, Mary Shelley discusses nature??™s power and that meddling with it leads to negative consequences. The point is made that nature is way more powerful than man and interfering with its natural course is a horrible idea because humans are insignificant when compared to nature.
Nature holds immense power. According to Mary Shelley and the Romantics, nature is the strongest force there is. It controls everything and has the big picture in mind. Therefore, it should not be impeded upon because it could obliterate a human in a split second. Mary Shelley shows nature??™s power and strength in many cases. The complete destruction of a tree is used to show the reader how violent nature can be.
As I stood at the door, on a sudden I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak which stood about twenty yards from our house; and so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump. When we visited it the next morning, we found the tree shattered in a singular manner. It was not splintered by the shock, but entirely reduced to thin ribbons of wood. I never beheld anything so utterly destroyed (Shelley 26).
This quote shows just how strong nature is. A midst a lightening storm a tree is completely demolished in seconds. Nothing in the entire universe could stop that tree from being destroyed. Nature holds the power to do anything. If nature can reduce a tree in no time at all it could destroy a human in even less time. The idea is being set in place that nature is a force that should not be disturbed because of its sheer power. If someone were to interfere s/he would be altering nature??™s course. People are insignificant to nature and are not concerned with the big picture. Everything is included in nature??™s thoughts and decisions. Human beings cannot fully comprehend the consequences of altering nature??™s course. They are not in touch with the over soul and do not know the master plan. Since men cannot think of the consequences of interfering with nature, the outcome will not be favorable.
From very early in his life, Victor Frankenstein had always been curious and did not think about the consequences of his actions. He was deeply interested in natural sciences and philosophy. He studied alchemy and then his focus shifts to life, creation, and the structure of man. He always has the desire to tap into things that are undiscovered, like the restoration of life into a dead human being. He wants to tread where no one before him has. ???Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember??? (Shelley 22). The hidden laws of nature refer to uncharted territory in research areas. Victor??™s curiosity leads him to the undiscovered laws of restoring life. Frankenstein goes against nature and gives life to a dead human being. When he is frightened by the monster??™s appearance he leaves him to fend for himself, not thinking of the consequences of this. He is not keeping in mind what this could lead to and how bad the repercussions could be. By leaving the newly formed creature to discover life by himself, Victor earns himself a terrible fate. Leaving his creation to learn for himself shows how stupid and insignificant people are compared to nature. Shelley is showing why certain things should be left up to nature. The creature becomes a monster because the force of nature shapes who the monster becomes. He has no one to guide him and tell him what is right or wrong. Victor did something that was against nature and he did not consider the outcome, as nature does. He did not possess the power and knowledge that nature does to foresee the consequences of doing something unnatural. Because Victor did not assume responsibility for his creation and made its life miserable, it became a monster and in the end makes Victor??™s life miserable. It is karma. His life is torn to shreds.
Instead of a quick and painless death, Victor is tortured emotionally and socially before the monster kills him. Mary Shelley is teaching the reader a lesson through her novel, that when one defies nature, and its laws, the consequences will be worse than being killed. The monster kills his entire family, and for his brother William??™s murder his servant, and family friend was blamed and executed for it. Not only is Victor stricken by grief, but he also feels extremely guilty. The monster takes away all of Victor??™s happiness and everything his life revolves around. Victor has nothing else to do but hunt the monster for the remainder of his life and then the monster kills him.
Romantic ideals say that Science and natural marvels are derived from nature, and nature is the basis of all science. Humans create problems when the big picture is lost and all they do is study science and dissect it. Nature has always been beautiful and sacred whereas anything that man has changed or meddled with turns out deviant, unsafe, vile, and abominable. Mary Shelley proved, in her novel, that nature should be left alone. It is a strong and powerful force that should be appreciated and not corrupted or tainted by man.