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Johnny Heiss Mrs.

Sharpe AP English Literature November 29, 2011 Frankenstein Setting Analysis Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is considered to be one of the greatest classics of all time and is world-renowned. It portrays plot conflicts that are used in many of todays contemporary works. Mary Shelley uses the setting and weather to foreshadow and set the tone of what is about to happen which gives us insight into the feelings of the characters. Frankenstein is full of foreshadowing which is important because it subtly shows what will happen in the near future. Shelley jumps straight to the foreshadowing by describing the rain that is falling on the night Dr. Frankenstein is creating the monster. the rain pattered dismally against the window panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out (Shelley 42). The dismal rain foreshadows the dismal consequences that will occur because of the creation of the monster; and indeed there are many dismal consequences that Dr. Frankenstein endures. The candle being nearly burnt out sets a dark and gloomy setting, adding to the dismal pattering of the rain, which creates an ominous and almost spooky mood during the creation. Another example of Shelleys foreshadowing: the darkness and storm increased every minute and the thunder burst with a terrific crash over my head. I perceived in the gloom a figure which stole from behind a clump of trees near me; I stood fixed, gazing intently; I could not be mistaken. A flash of lightning

illuminated the object and discovered its shape plainly to methe wretch, filthy demon to whom I had given life (Shelley 59). By this point in the story, we know that stormy weather means a dark realization to come. The terrific thunder, and black clouds all foreshadow what is about to happen, and naturally so, Dr. Frankenstein spots the creature in the lightning near where his brother was murdered. Shelley inputs weather to set the tone and mood for what is about to come. Mary Shelley also uses the setting and weather to almost dictate the feelings and moods of the characters. It is unknown to us whether Shelley put setting in to dictate the characters mood or if the characters mood dictates the setting or if the setting was put in place just to accompany the characters mood; either way the weather/setting relate tremendously to the characters mood. I contemplated the lake; the waters were placid, all around was calm, and the snowy mountains were not changed. By degrees the calm and heavenly scene restored me (Shelley 58). The serene Switzerland setting relieved Dr. Frankenstein from his painful state of mind (Shelley 58), so that he could continue on his journey to Geneva. Another example of the setting being able to influence a characters mood is, It was a divine spring and the season contributed greatly to my convalescence. I felt also sentiments of joy and affection revive in my bosom; my gloom disappeared, and in a short time I became as cheerful as before I was attacked by the fatal passion (Shelley 47). Similar to the first quote, the weather and setting revive Dr. Frankenstein from the depressed state he had fallen into. Also, this shows the power that nature has over man because something as simple as a nice day can completely alter the way a character

is feeling. Mary Shelley seems to believe in the power of nature because there are many instances throughout the book in which she displays natures power. For example: We witnessed a most violent and terrible thunderstorm I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak which stood about twenty yards away from our house; and so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump I never beheld anything so utterly destroyed (Shelley 26). This is Dr. Frankenstein reminiscing but Shelley wrote it to display the power of nature, which she so obviously believes in. Setting and weather play equally important roles in the plot of Frankenstein. Weather is a big part of the story (almost its own character) in which Shelley uses to set up an upcoming scene. Coincidentally enough, Shelley wrote Frankenstein in a time period of transition from the Enlightenment era to the Romantic era in which people focused more on nature and not so much on reason. This might explain as to why nature and weather are so prevalent in the novel. Setting is where the action of a novel takes place. Shelley seems to redefine this term by making weather and setting go hand-in-hand.