Tag Archive: wildfires

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.

Let Us Breathe

By: Jocelyn Lemus

CA fire pic

When referring to the ecocritical lens, one may not think of the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The way she uses her abilities of writing to hide the true meanings is very significant. To elaborate, the way the novel relate to the ecocritical lens because just like nature the creature in the novel are unpredictable. They don’t say much from how they look but when one pays attention to it they are left speechless. When Shelley decided to write this novel she lived during child nights and days without the absence of training.  This is important because the experience one goes through manipulates one’s mindset when it comes to focusing on writing. To add on, what I am trying to connect this with are the fires happening in California. This demonstrates how nature can get out of control without one’s ability to control its purpose. As humans, we are given the potential so fix these problems. However, we do not use our resources wisely. This connects with the creature in the novel because Victor was responsible for creating the chaos around for manipulating nature to his project. One must be awaken when it comes to considering world problems.

Lighting Our “Funeral Pile”

By Isaac Gallegos R.


Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein was written nearly 200 years ago, and yet through the application of multiple critical lenses, it is more relevant to our contemporary society than ever. In this instance, when we apply an ecocritical lens to Frankenstein, we can learn two valuable ideas: first, we should always be thoughtful nature and it’s countless complex mechanics, and second, we should never underestimate nature’s potential. In the 19th century, European scholars were very thoughtful of nature, thanks in part to romanticism and it’s ideologies on nature and it’s “power and innocence”. However, they many times failed to understand nature’s true power. During the Year without a Summer (1816), academics proposed legislature, strategies, and other literature that would amend this situation (one said example wished to wage “war on icebergs”); however, the issue with these propositions was that they were riddled with imperialistic diction! They viewed as nature and it’s forces as something that needed to be conquered and controlled, that it’s “savagery” must be replaced by “cosmopolitan”. We need to understand that nature is something wonderfully powerful, and it cannot be easily manipulated — nor should it be. And in contemporary society, we have failed to recognize both! We fail to respect nature (as we have adopted a caustic anthropocentric view on the world) and this total disrespect and violation of nature has begun to lead us into ruin. The ongoing wildfires in California are highly unnatural — our traditional rainy season has been dubbed the “fiery season”; years of poor rainfall have been transforming our forests from healthy ecosystems to barren and dry — and perfect for wildfires. And our politicians and representatives are ignorant, and they fail to see that global warming is highly responsible for all these ‘unnatural’ natural disasters. The Year without a Summer was over 200 years ago, and now, through human activity, we are beckoning the “Age of the Pissed-Off Earth” or maybe the “Age in Which the Ignorant Humans Begin to Ascend their Funeral Pile Unknowingly”, but only time (and responsible and urgently needed action) will tell.