Tag Archive: climate change


Who to Blame?

By: Sandra Tzoc

air pollution

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” demonstrates an anomaly in the climate through the very cold winters. This issue is accompanied by the banished creature which can represent the theme of pollution in the modern age. The California fires are analogous to Shelley’s freezing winters and both can be seen as consequences to the actions of humans. Climate change is influenced by different factors and one of them includes: pollution. The exertion of greenhouse gases leads to the entrapment of infrared radiation which can in turn cause the increase of gas temperature, consequently, augmenting the temperature of earth’s atmosphere. These California fires could be put out faster if the land wasn’t so dry and there was more rain. Although humans are responsible for the radical climate changes because we take part in extensive pollution, there seems to be a disconnect in culpability. Instead of blaming ourselves, we blame pollution, and make it seem as if pollution is created on its own. This resonates with the relationship between Victor and the creature, because although Victor was his creator he acted as if the creature was the only one to blame for the tragedies that occurred.

Devastating Ignorance

Sabrina Vazquez

Since lecture on Wednesday and considering the devastating fire that has taken so many lives in northern California, my thoughts have not been far from the effects of global warming. Siobhan Carroll’s statement “In works such as Frankenstein we can nevertheless see an uncanny reflection of our own struggles to discern the nature of, and decide on the proper response to, alterations in the global climate.” (524). There is virtually no time between one natural disaster to the next happening in the world, that are all the consequence of global warming, it is undeniable, but yet it is denied. Time and time again, from people who personify the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’, climate change is called a ‘hoax, or a ‘secret to agenda to push’. Carroll in relation to the novel declares that we must accept our fault in the situation or else it will be too late, much like Frankenstein and his creation. In order to repair even a fraction of the damage caused to Earth ignorance can no longer be tolerated. The fire that has demolished Paradise is a call to deniers to pull their heads from the sand, Global warming is undeniable and it’s devastating us all.

We’re Doomed

Esther Quintanilla

The novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley has many references toward climate change, particularly that of what was happening in her era. However, many of the ideas that were shown in the novel can be seen in today’s time, especially with the rampant wildfires that are happening in Northern and Southern California. Taking an ecocritical view of the novel, we can see that the change in the climate in the novel was man’s to blame — and it is no different in our time. Manmade structures and progression are to blame for the change of our climate, there is only one possible solution to alleviate the climate because there is no way we could heal it completely. Limiting mass production, fossil fuel usage, and overpopulation in small areas will help the climate moderate itself. However, this is simply not possible as thousands upon thousands of people move LA every year and big oil companies refuse to change their methods. Climate change is our fault, and it is up to us to save our planet from destruction.

By interpreting the novel Frankenstein through an ecocritical lens we can see how the climate change issues we are experiencing are very similar to the ones of Mary Shelley’s time. Mary Shelley was writing her novel during the time period known as the Year without summer which was the consequence of climate change. During that summer it was extremely rainy and cold. Similarly, we are experiencing unusual weather as a result of climate change. In previous years the city of Merced has been pretty consistent in its weather patterns but recently its experience longer periods of heat and drought. In both cases, climate change was man-made due to the lack of respect for nature. Even now as we are given a chance to right our actions, people still deny climate change being an issue and vote against efforts made to address the issue.

Fear of The Other

forest

Among the countless interpretations of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, one of the most pervasive and relevant is its connection towards climate change. Going as far back to when countries attempted to achieve a cosmopolitan weather for more power, Victor’s creation has always been a unique example as the embodiment of the world’s anxieties towards climate change. Like the creature itself, many perceive climate change as an unnatural and otherworldly force that some may or may not believe in, which reflects appropriately on modern debates as to whether it even exists or not. Also like the creature however, Shelly shows that it is important to acknowledge and accept “otherness” regardless of how unnatural it is. Overcoming fear of “otherness” will always be the world’s greatest struggle, as shown by societies crippling fear of outsiders such as the creature and Safie. As long as people continue to challenge and explore the unknown, concepts of “otherness” such as climate change may end up ceasing to be “other” in the minds of everyone, just as the creature.

–Jose Ramirez

Climate change

Throughout the novel, Frankenstein,  Mary Shelley throws some hints at her readers about climate change at that time of setting. During the time Mary Shelley was writing Frankenstein, the weather in that current year was very cold and ugly which in fact went on to be referred to as the “Year Without a Summer”. In the same way, California right now is experiencing climate change, but instead of it being cold and rainy we have fires everywhere. This shows that climate change has been an ongoing issue for a very long time now, and we continue to contribute to it in all the wrong ways. In the sequence of events, we can only assume this will continue to worsen as times goes by. Climate change is real, and it is damaging everyone.

By dalia ulloa

A Plea for Change

An ecocritical interpretation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in today’s modern day, can help lead us to see the dangers of our denial regarding climate change. The idea that Victor Frankenstein created a powerful and dangerous being, chose to set it free into the world and completely ignore it – with no regard for the repercussions caused by his unnatural being – can act as a warning to man regarding what happens when they choose to ignore man-made catastrophes and in this case, we can view that man-made catastrophe as climate change. The weather changes we see within the novel would have been as much of a warning to audiences then as they can be now considering our climate has only worsened since then. Therefore, through the weather change and imbalance of it that Shelley described in the novel, we can conclude that there were subtle but alarming warnings regarding the change in weather and in an ecocritical interpretation we can argue that she included these warnings as a plea to humans to not ignore what they had caused. We can learn from the novel that we must acknowledge the way our behaviors and actions can upend the natural state of our earth and instead of ignoring the results of our doing we must act in order to reverse what we caused and assure that we won’t let the catastrophe go any further.

-Beverly Miranda

 

By: Katherine Hernandez

 

I believe that an ecocritical view of Frankenstein might help understand our woes. The losses of life and property these fires leaves individuals with the need to point fingers at who’s fault it is.  However, as Frankenstein demonstrates the era of cold summers and winters was a phenomenon caused by climate change just like the fires that are occurring at the moment climate change has been a problem in our societies since the beginning of perhaps what is the industrial revolutions not just a problem of the 21st century.  Society has been dealing with these catastrophic events for a while and just like creatures of habit we do not seem to learn. Just like in Frankenstein the separation of classes and the power some of these classes hold over the others shines through. While colonization and the true spread of imperialism cannot actually happen anymore, or at least we like to think it can’t, there is currently migrant workers in the fields, in harm’s way while upper-class individuals move away from the fires as much as they can. They will reap the rewards later, too.

Climate Change

It is evident that currently we are experiencing new, and dangerous, changes in regards to climate change, just as Mary Shelley experienced whilst writing Frankenstein. Although Mary Shelley wrote this novel in the “Years without a Summer”, it could be said that we are currently in the “Years of Forest Fires”, considering the lack of denial of such fires. I say this to point out the effects of acknowledging an ecocritical interpretation of Frankenstein, shining light on the effects humans have on climate change and how dangerous it is to be in denial about it. Correll even mentioned in her essay that “it is the cosmopolitan scientists’s experiement in improvement, and not the menacing operations of a swiftly-cooling planet, that poses the most immediate threat to humanity’s survival” (pg. 524), revealing that we must acknowledge that our actions have humans do have a deterimental effect to our Earth. But, considering our own President doesn’t believe in climate change, when will improvement come?

Jaimee Watsonmaxresdefault

Awaiting Damage

As we have been discussing, Frankenstein can be interpreted as a warning of climate change due to humans and the possible consequences. While the novel warns of ice as the enemy, we are currently battling against the opposite, fire. Along with destruction of homes, the fires also bring poor air quality. This situation can be interpreted through Frankenstein as another instance in which humans are fighting a force stronger than them, that requires more than just asking it to go away. Furthermore, those with breathing problems, who are more sensitive to the unhealthy air, would support the claim that creature is a symbol of the coming end, meaning that it may be possible that the air quality, and the fires themselves, will become so severe that everyone will suffer irreversible damage, ultimately causing change in the regular climate completely. We can see the damage happening now, but further, possibly greater damage, may not be noticed until much later.

By: Galilea Sanchez