In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor betrays nature by creating the Monster. It is the responsibility of nature, and not man, to create human beings. Victor has done something unnatural, he has created life after death, “I have created a monster. ” Victor is soon punished for interfering with nature when his own creation turns against its creator. The monster murders William Frankenstein, Victor’s brother; Henry Clerval, Victor’s best friend; and Elizabeth Lavenza, Victor’s bride.
The Monster kills all those that are closest in Victor’s life in a form of retaliation for Victor’s creation of a onster, one without a companion, one rejected by all of civilization. “I determined to seek that justice which I vainly attempted to gain from any other being that wore the human form” (Frankenstein, p. 136, line 13). It is the death of Victor’s family that signifies his punishment ” I have never seen a man so wretched a condition” (Frankenstein, p. 20).
Victor’s repentance comes in two parts: when he decides to destroy his own creation: “I am going to unexplored region, to ‘the land of mist and snow;’ but I shall kill no albatross, therefore do not be alarmed for my safety” (Frankenstein, p. 5, line 25) and when the blame shifts from Victor to the Monster, and the Monster decides to kill himself “Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? ” (Frankenstein, p. 132, line 1). The penance is done by the end of the book and the Monster is removed from civilization.
However, that is not to say that Victor is absolved of his betrayal. Victor is in constant sorrow for his creation because it caused the death of so many in his life. In the poem “The Rime of Ancient Mariner,” the mariner betrays nature by murdering the Albatross: “I had killed the bird that made the breeze blow” AM, p. 08, line 52). The Albatross represents nature. The representation is meaningless to the mariner until he sees the how things are quickly changed after the death: “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink” (AM, p. 0, line 02).
Finally, after suffering, and losing his entire crew, the mariner realizes the Albatross as a symbol of nature and he comprehends the evil he has done. The mariner receives a sufficient punishment, “I looked upon the rotting sea, and drew my eyes away; I looked upon the rotting deck, and there the dead men lay” (AM, p. 18, line 11). After the killing of the Albatross and the loss of the mariner’s crew, his suffering include having his soul in agoney soon afterwards. “But the curse liveth for him in the eye of the dead men” (AM, p. 9, line 6).
It is only after his anguish that the mariner is forgiven by nature and receives penance. Through nature, the mariner undergoes his penance: “I woke, and we were sailing on as in a gentle weather: ‘Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;” (AM, p. 30, line 7) and is able to pray again and begin the repair of his spirituality. The mariner, however is not rid of the memories of the Albatross. The Albatross around the mariner’s neck is a constant reminder of the mistake he made.
When one betrays nature he or she cannot experience penance before he or she encounter punishment. Victor betrayed nature by creating life after death. And the mariner betrayed nature by killing an innocent creature. But in every case, nature was able to find forgiveness. Nature is a powerful element, teaching us to focus on different aspects of life, like forgiveness. Nature is a replica for forgiveness. Man continues to do impudent things and nature continuously forgives us even though we may be unable to forgive ourselves.