Frankenstein: Metaphor Analysis
Sickness: Throughout Frankenstein , several characters, but especially Victor, grow sick during periods of extreme stress. Frankenstein demonstrates such illness after he creates the monster and especially after his friend, Clerval, dies. Other characters, such as his mother and father, also experience extreme sickness, yet to Victor, at least, sickness serves as an escape from life's harsh reality. It also seems to foreshadow horrible, future events-Victor always seems to realize the terrible hold fate has over him.
Weather/Nature: The weather also serves as a quiet metaphor throughout the novel. Like sickness, it too, foreshadows coming events. For example, the storm of the night of William's murder seems to foreshadow the impending misery brought on by the monster. Both Victor and the monster have their spirits lifted during warm weather. To Victor, the Alps are a place of self-reflection and spiritual awakening. Yet the cold, stormy weather (the arctic north near the end of the story, for example, or the rain storm on Victor's wedding night), indicates deep depression and thoughts of death, underscoring how desperate Victor's and the monster's circumstances have become while reminding them of their impending doom. Clearly, the weather corresponds to the characters' attitudes. Likewise, Victor's love but eventual disillusionment with nature reveals his love and disillusionment with life itself, after the monster makes his life a living nightmare. As always, Frankenstein's love turns to contempt and self-loathing as his creature grows increasingly vengeful.
The Monster: In many ways, the monster himself is a metaphor for Victor's life. Indeed, Frankenstein's monster is an outcast-he doesn't belong in human society. Yet the monster's alienation from society, his unfulfilled desire for a companion with whom to share his life, and his ongoing struggle for revenge, are all shared by his creator. As the story develops, Victor becomes increasingly like his creation. Both live in relative isolation from society, both hate their own miserable lives, and both know suffering.