I have chosen to use Frankenstein by Mary Shelley with my Advanced 8th Grade English students for several years. So when I had the chance to visit the area in which much of the novel takes place, I took advantage.
Despite the sunshine, the majesty of this mountain was inspiring in its sheer height. It took two cable cars to get almost to the top. At that point, brave souls with the proper outerwear (as the temperature was 50 degrees cooler) could walk further up. It didn’t take much imagination to visualize what Victor saw and felt. “I suddenly beheld the figure of a man, at some distance, advancing towards me with superhuman speed. He bounded over the crevices in the ice, among which I had walked with caution; his stature, also, as he approached, seemed to exceed that of man. I was troubled; a mist came over my eyes, and I felt a faintness seize me, but I was quickly restored by the cold gale of the mountains. I perceived, as the shape came nearer (sight tremendous and abhorred!) that it was the wretch whom I had created.“
At the base of the mountain is a quaint French town, Chamonix, where we spent some time eating lunch, drinking wine, and exploring.
Fortunately for us, we chose to tour on a sunny day. As we ventured by to Italy the next day and passed by this area the sight was much different and tours to the top of the mountain were closed.