We live in a world where nature is sacred and delicate. We constantly live in a state of panic wondering if today is the day that tips the scales and makes the damage, we inflicted on nature irreversible. As dramatic as it seems that is a reality now. World leaders, Companies and everyday people are working together to fix and preserve our Earth. We all understand the importance of nature, however, one thing that just struck my mind was how nature affects our emotions. In Frankenstein, Shelley used the images of nature to mimic the characters’ emotions. Victor often sought out nature to fulfil his dreary moods. This Romantic Era idea that nature is healing can be applied to society still. When we are stressed, we need fresh air or when we are sad, we can’t wait for sunlight. Some people take this concept to the next level, boating at night or camping in complete isolation… If you’ve read Frankenstein, then all this sounds just like Victor and all the things he’s done when he needed some ‘spiritual healing’ per se. Victor talked about these nights spent in seclusion and how they affected his mental state: “We passed a fortnight in these perambulations: my health and spirits had long been restored, and they gained additional strengths from the salubrious air I breathed” (Shelley 43). Studies have been conducted to prove that as we disconnect from nature with the new technological revolution, we are more likely to get depressed and gain weight. Also, other mental disabilities like autism can have reduced effects when the affected person spends more than a few hours outside. These new advances in psychology and cognitive behavioural therapy are incredible and back up those old Romantic Era ideologies that nature is significantly linked to controlling our emotions and lifestyles. I wanted to show just how important nature is by writing a diary entry of someone from the future where nature isn’t as beautiful and more lacklustre. We often don’t realize what we’re missing until it doesn’t exist anymore.
Again, it happened again. My mind is racing, and I can’t seem to find balance in my new life. I remember the days when my family and I would seek the comforts of the natural parks that once surrounded Toronto. Years have passed since they were open. The world has turned to artificial nature, like in the Lorax when the trees were made of plastic. It saddens me greatly knowing that all the things I once loved have literally dried up and vanished. I read the book Frankenstein just to live vicariously through Victor and experience the old beauties of the Alps. The book details the beautiful scenes of those mountains, lakes and forest pathways. I was awestruck by Victor’s narration as he described the valley, “I ascended higher, the valley assumed a more magnificent and astonishing character. Ruined castles hanging on the precipices of piny mountains” (Shelley 99). All of my senses were racing, I could hear the wind whistling past my ears as I imagined myself walking alongside him. I could smell the crisp fresh air; a scent I had long forgotten. My skin was cold, and I had a chill to the bone but didn’t want to stop and gain some warmth. The taste that lingered in my mouth was leftover wine and the feeling of once being drunk felt the same as scaling this valley. I was alive again and it felt amazing… I woke from my lucid dream to be smacked with my reality. I was in the middle of a hot, dry city, and knowing that those majestic views will all be a figment of my imaginations made me just as morose as before. This lack of all that is alive and thriving made my heart ache. Our world has turned grey with concrete and steel. People live inside the virtual realities created by computers. The crime, cancer, and early childhood behavioural issues were at an all–time high, all these things were linked to the absence of mother nature. Scientists are saying ‘I told you so’ since we have known for a while that if we continued to poison this earth, we would eventually start to negatively feel the effects. We are. It’s more than just our brains feeling the effects, it’s our lungs too. I read to help with the mental issues but soon reading won’t be enough and the damages on my body and mind will continue to fester. I’ll eventually break and crumble into the concrete where my body will turn to sand from the heat and blow away in the form of particles ready to be inhaled by someone else. It is a dark concept but not one that is totally abnormal.
Our minds can’t fathom this kind of future. I picture something like from Maze Runner; a world so hot things turn to sand and the world in just one big sandpit. But everything is a guessing game, no one really knows how things will turn out. However, there are a few certainties and those are; increased crime rates (studies show that greener neighbourhoods have less crime), increased health defects and increased mental issues. I guess by connecting to Frankenstein, we can help wrap our minds around the spiritual healing effects of nature and maybe that can motivate people more to want to protect it. Since apparently saying that smog and lack of trees will kill us all, still doesn’t make us learn from our mistakes maybe Shelley’s book can.
“Exposure to Nature for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Benefits, Caveats, and Barriers.” Health & Place, Pergamon, 29 Nov. 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1353829218305756.
Green, Kristophe, and Dacher Keltner. “How Nature Makes Us Healthier and Happier.” YES! Magazine, 13 Mar. 2017, www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/what-happens-when-we-reconnect-with-nature.
Henry, Micah. “How the Environment Effects Criminal Activity.” Science Leadership Academy @ Center City, scienceleadership.org/blog/how_the_environment_effects_criminal_activity.