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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
monster, 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.15, 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.10, 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.19, 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
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
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