December 9, 2011
Frankenstein And How to Read Literature Like a Professor Essay Number One In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, rain is used as a symbol to represent the washing away of Victor Frankenstein’s false beliefs. Thomas C. Foster explains in his book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, that the weather in a story plays a significant role in the meanings of events and the moods of the characters in stories (Chapter 10: ‘It’s More than Just Rain or Snow’). He describes how “Weather is never just weather. It’s never just rain. And that goes for snow, sun, warmth, cold, and probably sleet.” Foster also explains that rain is clean, a form of purification, and can bring a dying earth back to life. After William and Justine are brutally murdered, Frankenstein leaves home and journeys through the mountains of the Alps to get away from all the commotion of his family. When he decides to go up a mountain, “the rain was pouring in torrents” but he decides to “penetrate their misty veil”, indicating that Frankenstein goes out and lets the rain pour on him as he makes the long journey up the mountain. The rain creates an atmosphere of sadness demonstrating a feeling of being alone. Frankenstein is extremely upset by the deaths of William and Justine, and wishes to confine himself from everyone around him. He also says “thick mists hid the summits of the mountains, so that I even saw not the faces of those mighty friends”. The rain buried the mountains, so he is completely isolated from people and his mountainous “friends”. Before, he gained happiness from visiting the mountains, but now happiness cannot be reached because they are hidden. This shows how troubled Frankenstein’s thoughts are and how ‘at war’ he is from anything that has ever brought him peace. When referring to snow, Foster says that, “snow is clean, stark, serene, warm (as an insulating blanket, paradoxically), inhospitable, inviting, playful,...
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