The Swiss Alps play a significant role in the novel Frankenstein. The book opens with a scene of Victor Frankenstein working in his laboratory surrounded by nature. The natural landscape also provides a setting for some of the most important scenes in the book, including Frankenstein’s discovery of his monster and his confrontation with it at the end of the story.
The novel’s subtitle, “The Modern Prometheus,” alludes to the Greek myth in which Prometheus is punished by Zeus for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans. In this way, Frankenstein’s monster can be seen as an analogue for Prometheus’ fire (or knowledge).
In addition, electricity plays an important role in creating Frankenstein’s monster; it was still a relatively new and mysterious force in the early 19th century. This aspect of science fiction has influenced many subsequent works from this genre.
Alchemy is another topic that appears frequently throughout the novel; alchemists attempted to use chemical processes to turn base metals into gold or other precious metals. This idea is central to both Frankenstein’s creation of life through chemistry and his brother’s.