All the great couples in media have had some sort of influence on one another. So just like when Beyoncé sings hooks on Jay Z songs, or John Lennon letting Yoko Ono ruin The Beatles, Mary Shelley borrows heavily from, and is greatly influenced by, her husband Percy Shelley. (Hooray for relevant cultural commentary!)

So when we see Victor Frankenstein ‘borrowing’ quite heavily from Percy Shelley’s poems, it’s certainly no surprise. Mary Shelley uses both “Mont Blanc” and “On Mutability” to shape the setting and direction of a few specific passages during Frankensteins’s time in the Alps.

Frankenstein tells of his ascent and experience in the valley Chamounix, beneath Mont Blanc, in almost identical terms to Percy Shelley’s poems. It wouldn’t be a stretch to argue that those few pages are almost a re-writing of Mont Blanc in prose form. Percy Shelley describes the awe-inducing power of nature by offering a grand description of the mountain and its surroundings. Similarly, Frankenstein echoes these sentiments in saying things like, “The sight of the awful and majestic in nature had indeed always the effect on solemnising my mind, and causing me to forget the passing cares of life.” (91) This is quite similar to the last eight lines of the fourth stanza in “Mont Blanc”, where Percy Shelley likens the solemnity of the mountain to the simplicity of human thought, and how in the face of such magnificent nature, the worries of man seem to fade away.

Additionally, similar terms are used in describing the scenery of the valley in both “Mont Blanc” and the passages from 89-92. Words like awful (meaning awe-inspiring), majestic, tranquil, solemn, serene, and other terms that induce feelings of sublimity are found in throughout. Also of note is how both passages make use of describing the sound of the river, and the grand sense of vastness that noise produces.

Finally, at the top of 92, Frankenstein recites the last stanza of Percy Shelley’s “On Mutability”. This is ostensibly done to further emphasize the point both are trying to make about human insignificance in the face of grand nature. Shelley argues, and Frankenstein supports, the view that the only lasting forces that exist are the forces of nature, and we as humans must base our thoughts relative to nature around is. Subsequently, human thought, experience, and emotion are ever changing in reference to our surrounding nature, but nonetheless tied to that experience of nature.

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