Throughout the fiction novel Frankenstein

Throughout the fiction novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley portrays the element of nature as something vast and enduring while portraying man as puny and small, suggesting that man is no match for nature and cannot imitate it. As the story of Frankenstein develops Shelley uses her characters such as Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist and an ambitious scientist plus his creation, the antagonist who is hell-bent on making Victor’s life a living hell to show this. When Victor begins to create the monster it takes quite a toll on his health and well being. After the project is finished the monster suffers once it realizes it is lonely and ugly. The monster also creates a path of destruction by killing off various characters in the novel. By doing all of this Shelley sets up her theme of man versus nature. Through the use of various literary techniques and details throughout the story, this theme is able to solidify.
Shelley first shows that nature cannot be imitated by man when Victor creates the monster and it starts to take a toll on his well being. As Victor is coaxing his creation to life the author describes him as being “oppressed by slow fever every night”, and his outward appearance looking like someone “doomed by slavery” (Shelley 42). By using words such as “doomed” and “oppressed” it gives off a negative connotation, implying that Victor is risking his life to create this creature as it leaves him crippled and fatigued every night. Also, as Victor creates this creature he becomes to overridden with anxiety that even simple things such as “the fall of leaves” have now startled him (Shelley 42). Victor being scared by even the something as simple as the movement of leaves shows that when trying to make this monster it doesn’t leave him in the right headspace. All of this demonstrates that as Victor is working so hard to recreate life, and imitate nature it is causing the life to be sucked out of him. Ultimately showing that trying to recreate nature can lead to disastrous consequences.
The second way Shelley shows that nature cannot be imitated by man because of their large differences is when Frankenstein creates the monster and it is ugly and deformed. Victor’s creation first realizes it is hideous when it looks at its reflection through a pond. It was taken aback on how ugly it was compared to the other villagers. Soon the creation internalizes that hatred becoming “fully convinced that it was in reality the monster.” In addition, Victor makes an unnatural being with organs that are “harsh but supple” compared to humans, and a voice “unlike the soft music of their tones” (Shelley 103). The creation comparing its body as inferior to humans allows the readers to realize that Victor’s creation, which is created by man, is hideous while humans, a subject of nature are beautiful.
Another way Shelley shows the contrast between something nature creates and something man tries to copy is through the comparison of Victor and his creation to God and Adam. When Victor’s creation stumbles upon the book “Paradise Lost” the creation learns about God and Adam. The creation begins to compare itself to Adam stating he was “united by no link to any other being in existence;” (Shelley 118). It realizes both him and Adam are both extraordinary beings because they were the first of their kind to exist. Then, the monster, later on realizes that his case is different, Adam “had come forth from the hands of God”, someone who was perfect (Shelley 118). God allowed Adam to prosper “but the creation was wretched, helpless, and alone” (Shelley 118). By using the conjunction “but” to contradict the monster’s thoughts from his previous ones, the monster is able to realize both him and Adam were created, yet they are dissimilar because when God created Adam he made sure he was happy and had companions, whereas Victor did not provide any of these luxuries to his creation.
Finally, Victor’s creation continues to cause harm to various characters in the book that Victor loves. It’s first victim being William Frankenstein, Victor’s harmless five year old brother. Victor’s creation strangles William to death upon learning that he is Victor Frankenstein’s brother claiming that “this death will carry despair” towards Victor (Shelley 132). It also kills Victor’s brother in order to torment and destroy him. But, the cherry on top to the death of William is the fact that the monster frames it on Justine, a nice, poor, and innocent woman that was very close to the Frankenstein’s and helped them around the house. The creation frames it on Justine because he assumes that once she would wake up she would see ” the creation, and curse it” (Shelley 132). The creation automatically assumes the worst about the interaction it would’ve had with Justine because of how other characters in the book have mistreated him. Therefore, he doesn’t give Justine a chance. By killing William and framing Justine, which basically gives her a sentence to death, it leaves Victor with inner turmoil because he knows what really happened while other characters are unaware. By trying to imitate nature it backfires on Victor, leaving him with inner turmoil. It also leaves his creation with blood on its hands and a path of dead bodies behind him that Victor soon has to clean up.
As the novel comes to a close, the pressure becomes too much for both Victor and his creation. Victor dies and soon after the creation commits suicide. Wrapping up the theme altogether. Victor finally has his epiphany moment and this shows him as the tragic hero. He realizes what he has done is bad so he goes on with his life trying to make things right even though there is very little he can do. Leading to the character’s tragic awareness. All of these details throughout the book, Victor creating the monster, and the affect it has on his health, the monster suffering once it realizes it is ugly, and finally the destruction the monster creates by killing off various characters in the novel all help solidify the theme of man versus nature. Nature is too powerful to be imitated, and even if man try it will just end with terrible consequences.