cropped-mountain1.jpgIn the scene that pages 89-92 cover, Frankenstein is traversing the mountain scape on his way back home. As he returns, a rather disproportionate amount of time is spent describing the sheer grandness and majesty of the mountains. This is a direct reference to Shelley’s poem Mont Blanc, where the sentimental detail of the mountain  makes up the majority of the poem. Frankenstein essentially gives us the novel version of the poem, rewriting the same themes that appear in the poem, such as the audio/ visual contrast and the man versus nature motif. Frankenstein also incorporates the poem “Mutability” into the passage, where he uses its main theme of the insignificance of man to add to his image of the sublime and awe-inspiring mountains.

In describing the mountain in all its magnificence to the reader, Frankenstein basically expands on Shelley’s work. A parallel theme that runs through the poem and that Frankenstein incorporates is the audio/ visual component of the scene. In Mont Blanc, a line that captures this audio component is “A loud, lone sound no other sound can tame”. This is then recast by Frankenstein as a array of formidable noises such as the “thunder sound of the avalanche” or “the fall of some vast fragment”. Additionally, the man versus nature motif ties in with the poem “Mutability” to add to the growing sense of the insignificance of man in the natural world. Frankenstein not only quotes the last two sections of the poem but adds to his sense of helplessness. “Why does man boast of sensibilities those apparent in brute, it only renders them more necessary beings.” The poem “Mutability” focuses on the ever changing world and how nothing can last forever. Change is always bound to destroy any attempt to remain stagnant and permanent. This is something the Frankenstein recognises, as he laments the petty ways of man in the grand scheme of the world. The poem is inserted right after this monologue, a direct support to the statement and the tone of inconsequentiality Frankenstein is aiming for.

These powerful images of huge mountains and booming sounds serves to evoke a sense of insignificance in the audience. The use of Shelley’s poems and the revised paraphrasing of these texts serve to set the sublime scene that Frankenstein is inhabiting. His focus on detail (mirroring that of the poems) really drives home the impressive and terrifying nature of the landscape.

Advertisements