"As the night advanced, a fierce wind arose from the woods, and quickly dispersed the clouds that had loitered in the heavens: the blast tore along like a mighty avelanche, and produced a kind of insanity in my spirits, that burst all bounds of reason and reflection. I lighted the dry branch of a tree, and danced with fury around the devoted cottage, my eyes still fixed on the western horizon, the edge of which the moon nearly touched. A part of its orb was at length hid, and I waved my brand; it sunk, and, with a loud scream, I fired the straw, and heath, and bushes, which I had collected. The wind fanned the fire, and the cottage was quickly enveloped by the flames, which clung to it, and licked it with their forked and destroying tongues."
The mutated hybrid of Enlightenment optimism and Gothic cynicism - of humanism and environmentalism - Frankenstein offers a chilling postmortem of humanity's confident drive to master and operate the cosmos' generative and degenerative functions. The disastrous fable of man's bastardization of nature is as much a tragedy of the neglected offspring of human ingenuity and cosmic nature as it is an elegy of the hopes for mankind's progress in the gory wake of the French Revolution.