Tag Archive: frankenstein


Frankenstein Fired Up

When looking at Frankenstein through an ecocritical lens, there are issues subtly presented regarding the climate of the time and place in which the novel is set. The climate during this time was so severely cold that those years were referred to as the “Year(s) without a Summer.” Undisturbed by these climate issues however, the characters in the novel continue to manipulate nature, mainly through the creation of the creature. The issues that result from this is only acknowledged after great damage and destruction is already done. In this way, the novel foreshadows our current climate issues in America and more specifically, now, in California, warning us that climate is and always will be an issue that should be addressed before any severe damage is done. Unfortunately, today California is battling major wildfires that can very much be connected to climate change issues, and while some of these issues may be unpreventable, it is important that we educate ourselves and do what we can to help in any way we can and prevent further disaster.

-Serena Ya

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Fear of The Other

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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

The theme of nature is prevalent all throughout Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein which can be read in an ecocritical lens. Relating this back to our current state of fires here in California, I personally believe Victor Frankenstein illustrates and portrays the role of humans today as we constantly abuse nature. Victor Frankenstein, upset nature quite a few times in the novel and nature fought back with darkness, lightening, and etc. The current events happening in our state are mere reflections of what we do. Our climate has been destructive and concerning and it is because of us and how we treat our planet. If we treat mother nature correctly and not “abuse” her, then things could get possible get better. We are products of nature, it is only correct if we treat it properly and respectfully.

-Rahma K

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

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?

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The Fiery Creature

By Mary Russell

Though the temperature of the novel Frankenstein and the fires currently affecting California are complete opposites, utilizing ecocriticism we can see the warnings from the 1800’s about what was to come. Back in Mary Shelley’s time, leading scientists were scrambling to solve the ice age they were experiencing and some even claimed they wished to control the weather. This is criticized in the novel. Victor seeks to control a force of nature (death) which eventually turns on him, destroying everything he loves and Victor does not want to take responsibility. He blames the creature for it’s violence, and lashes out at it. Scientists in the 1800s attempted to control the weather, a force of nature. Now we are being destroyed by the very thing they attempted to harness. No one wants to take responsibility and instead are getting into arguments about the validity of climate change while California burns. The president is attempting to throw blame instead of helping, and all the while the climate change creature rages on.

By~Amber Loper

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Frankenstein’s Monster, if cared for, can be controlled for good.  But Frankenstein faces the issue of man’s negligence, causing a problem where it could have otherwise been avoided. Although, there are outside forces that made this inevitable: Man’s unquenchable desire to uncover the secrets of life. The Monster kills, not because it is in its nature, but because it can’t control itself and by the time Victor tries to do something about it, it is too late. In the Novel, blame is placed, by authorities, not on the cause of the problem (the monster), but on other reasons not connected to Victor’s Creation, like poor Justine. In the end, this isn’t about a monster that has gone out of control. This is about waiting too long to solve an issue that has been around for years, but ignorance has led to unnecessary deaths and destruction.

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Fire, if cared for, can be controlled for good. But California faces the issue of man’s negligence, causing a problem where it could have otherwise been avoided. Although, there are outside forces that made this inevitable. Nature’s un-quinched thirst for rain spanning years. Fire kills, not because it is in its nature, but because it can’t control itself and by the time man tries to do something about it, it is too late. In California, blame is placed, by our president, not on the cause of the problem (no rain), but on other reasons not connected to global warming, like poor state management. In the end, this isn’t about a fire that has gone out of control. This is about waiting too long to solve an issue that has been around for years, but ignorance has led to unnecessary deaths and destruction.

Melanney Giron

Currently, California is experiencing severe changes and damages in regards to the air quality. Similar to our situation, in the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley seemed to have been aware of the climate changes happening during the time she was writing her novel. An ecocritical interpretation of Frankenstein would consist of a point of view that analyzes and challenges the role that humans have played in our current climate woes. We can relate our actions to those of the creatures in the novel. There are people who, like the creature, are unbothered by the climate change and do not believe that we must fix our behaviors now before its too late. In the novel, the creature had become accustomed to all climate changes while commoners, like the cottage family, felt the true effects of the changes. Both the creature and the climate change non-believers need to open their eyes and realize that the world around them is changing dramatically and not in the way we would expect.

One As Nature

An ecocritical interpretation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein teaches us that although climate change can be the result of environmental processes, we, as natural beings, must acknowledge ourselves as part of the natural world and recognize the power of our activities that disrupt and change the state of the earth in order to prevent its destruction. While the climate conditions described in the novel and during Shelley’s production of the text were likely the result of the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815, and not a man-made dilemma, the creation of the Creature was because of Victor and manipulation of the natural world. The monster who, while put together by a man, is an amalgamation of various bits of humans, a biological product of the natural world, is not distressed by the icy conditions facing Europe in the summer, unlike Victor who often describes the natural world as intimidating, like the Alps just as he does with his creation and classifies these dangers as innate qualities, rather than the possible result of his actions. It is through this dissociation from the natural world that some individuals in the present, when faced with environmental crises like recent megafires in California, refuse to consider the effects the human population has had on the nature for these disasters to arise, just as Victor affected nature in his mistreatment of the monster, despite scientific evidence of it. Because these people reject to realize they themselves are natural components of the environment and evade their role in its declining status, like Victor runs from his fear of the monster, they do not see their actions to be blamed for the chaos that goes around them and, as a result, do not find need to change their practices to correct these issues. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein teaches that we, as products of nature, have influence on it’s well-being, as much as volcanic eruptions or other inevitable phenomena, and must become like Frankenstein’s monster in acknowledging that link in order to realize when we have caused the world damage to mend it and our own faults.

-Wendy Gutierrez

Catastrophic climate change

by Marco Hidalgo

Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein was written during the years without summer. Now today, we are living in the season of wildfires and without any rain which both impacts the climate of the world. In Frankenstein, the creature has done terrible things suck as destroying Victors families like killing William and Justine. This is what happens when something catastrophic beginning in the world. Such as the wildfires that are out of control at the moment and how individuals are losing loved ones, their homes, and how animals are being killed. This shows how we should be protecting our earth from anymore disaster from happening again.

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