Ecocriticism refers to the study of literature in the context of how environmental problems are portrayed within the novel; Moreover, there is usually an emphasis on the way nature is treated or manipulated in the literary work. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, there is an obvious connection between traveling to the north pole in an attempt to warm the planet and the changes in climate because of human activity. Despite this, I believe the more important connection is that in the novel if it seemed like Victor Frankenstein was “abusing” nature then nature would take a dark turn whereas if Victor felt sick or sad nature acted as a restoring force.

“I remained two days at Lausanne, in this painful state of mind. I contemplated the lakes: the waters were placid; all around was calm, and the snowy mountains, “the palaces of nature”, were not changed. By degrees the calm and heavenly scene restored me, and I continued my journey towards Geneva.” (Shelley 47).

” I had selected his features as beautiful… His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of arteries and muscles beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost as the same color as the dun- white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight lips.” (Shelley 30).

What I find interesting about this connection is that it is easily identifiable in the context of our own world; If we “abuse” nature, nature will “respond” with conditions that will make Earth inhabitable or hazardous at best, but if we appreciate nature without “abusing” it, it shall repay us with the nourishment of its resources and its beauty.

by Steven Gonzalez