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Frankenstein

Mary Shelley
Quotes

Europe

Quotes Europe

Chapter 4

In a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase, I kept my workshop of filthy creation; my eyeballs were starting from their sockets in attending to the details of my employment. The dissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many of my materials; and often did my human nature turn with loathing from my occupation, whilst, still urged on by an eagerness which perpetually increased, I brought my work near to a conclusion. 

The summer months passed while I was thus engaged, heart and soul, in one pursuit. It was a most beautiful season; never did the fields bestow a more plentiful harvest or the vines yield a more luxuriant vintage, but my eyes were insensible to the charms of nature.  

In this quote, Victor Frankenstein describes his laboratory at his college in Ingolstadt where he creates the monster. Much like Walton's ship that was shut in and isolated by ice, the single room is situated far away from all of the other rooms in the house, isolating Victor and his work. Victor is isolated not just in terms of place, but also mentally. His singular focus on completing his experiment causes Victor to stay indoors looking at body parts even as "a most beautiful season" blooms outdoors.  

Chapter 9 

Immense glaciers approached the road; I heard the rumbling thunder of the falling avalanche and marked the smoke of its passage. Mont Blanc, the supreme and magnificent Mont Blanc, raised itself from the surrounding aiguilles, and its tremendous dôme overlooked the valley.

A tingling long-lost sense of pleasure often came across me during this journey. Some turn in the road, some new object suddenly perceived and recognised, reminded me of days gone by, and were associated with the lighthearted gaiety of boyhood. The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and maternal Nature bade me weep no more.

In this passage, Victor feels quite depressed about Justine's death, so he explores the natural surroundings of the Chamounix Valley. In Romantic literature, characters often try to cure their sadness by spending time in nature, and this scene is a good example. Victor looks to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, for inspiration. Every new step along his journey reveals to Victor something that sparks a happy memory. The winds are "soothing" and nature wants him to "weep no more." 

Chapter 11 

The whole village was roused; some fled, some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country and fearfully took refuge in a low hovel, quite bare, and making a wretched appearance after the palaces I had beheld in the village. This hovel however, joined a cottage of a neat and pleasant appearance, but after my late dearly bought experience, I dared not enter it. My place of refuge was constructed of wood, but so low that I could with difficulty sit upright in it. No wood, however, was placed on the earth, which formed the floor, but it was dry; and although the wind entered it by innumerable chinks, I found it an agreeable asylum from the snow and rain. 

Here, then, I retreated and lay down happy to have found a shelter, however miserable, from the inclemency of the season, and still more from the barbarity of man.

In this passage, the monster tells Victor about being driven away from a village by frightened villagers. For the monster, everything is a new discovery, so he feels enchanted by the “palaces” he sees in the village. However, the villagers' violent reactions to the monster cause him to flee to the "open country" in fear. The monster isolates himself in a small, dark hovel away from others, much like Victor did in his laboratory in Ingolstadt. 

Chapter 13 

In the meanwhile also the black ground was covered with herbage, and the green banks interspersed with innumerable flowers, sweet to the scent and the eyes, stars of pale radiance among the moonlight woods; the sun became warmer, the nights clear and balmy; and my nocturnal rambles were an extreme pleasure to me, although they were considerably shortened by the late setting and early rising of the sun, for I never ventured abroad during daylight, fearful of meeting with the same treatment I had formerly endured in the first village which I entered. 

In this quote, the monster describes the time when both he and Safie were learning how to speak French. The natural setting often mirrors what is happening in the lives of the characters. As the monster learns new things and the characters begin new relationships, the natural setting around them becomes lush and warm. Even during this happy time, the monster isolates himself during the day because he’s afraid people will attack him like they did in the village.