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Locations and Journeys

Why do you think Shelley makes use of such a range of settings?

  • Pivotal to understand novel and its impact
  • The question of ethics and the boundaries of scientific research – the journey is a metaphor for the quest for knowledge

Why is it important that the events of the novel take place in such geographically diverse locations?

  • Panoramic view of early nineteenth Century Europe
  • Landscapes are in sympathy with Gothic traditions – pathetic fallacy
  • Contrasts made between conventional nature and wild landscapes
  • Links with the ‘journey’ of the narrative

What could these locations symbolise about the characters in the text?

  • The tormented psychology of Victor Frankenstein and that of the monster he creates – The Mountains of the mind
  • Walton and Frankenstein are similar characters – both on journeys and both lonely in pursuit of their interests - The Icy Wilderness of the pole is a powerful image of the psychology of both men
  • Links to theme of isolation
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