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Comment on Chapter 5's significance in Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'.

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Introduction

Comment on Chapter 5's significance in Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'. Famous writer, Mary Shelley was born in London in 1797. She was the daughter of writer William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Shelley's mother sadly died while giving birth to her. This was an influence included in the later successful novel 'Frankenstein'. At 19, she married poet Percy Shelley, who she married in 1816. Together, Mary and Percy had five children, but only one survived past childhood. This tragedy, along with the early death of her mother influenced Mary Shelley's theme linking creation with death. She started to write Frankenstein at the age of 18, completing it in less than a year. She said the idea came to her in a dream, and dreams are created by unrelated events, and memories. Science became one of the main influences for Shelley's novel. At the time, the influences of the scientific world became fascinating to everyone. The idea of bringing people back to life was being tested by some of the most intelligent minds. The main character in the story, Victor, grew up in Geneva, where Mary Shelley wrote the novel. ...read more.

Middle

However this is not at all what happens in the story, it is the complete opposite. 'Winter, Spring and Summer Passed away' shows that he is infatuated with his work. Time has passed so quickly while he has been absorbed in his task. Chapter's 4 to 6 are written from Victor's point of view. In my opinion, I think that these chapters are the most important in the novel. He feels guilty of this terrible crime, and falls ill, mentally and physically. Chapter 6 contains a letter from Elizabeth and Victor's return. The letter shows sympathy and provides news of the family; it mentions Justine's arrival and talks about William in a very warm manner, "He is very tall of his age, with sweet laughing blue eyes, dark eyelashes and curling hair. When he smiles, two little dimples appear on his cheek, which are rosy with health." The second half of the chapter is about Victor and his arrival. He cannot bear to think of his scientific studies. After his mental breakdown he recovers where Shelley writes descriptions of spring which suggest a new start. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Yellow skin, horrid contrast and shrivelled lips.' This is a typical example of language in a gothic fantasy. Its purpose is to shock and scare readers. At the beginning of chapter 5, there is use of a rhetorical question, 'How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe?" This is a question Victor is asking which requires no answer. There is also a contrast to this statement a little bit later on, '...and I selected his features as beautiful' - Victor goes from negative to positive. Another significant aspect of chapter 5, is Shelley's description of Victor's nightmare, which shows how disturbed he is by his creation. Shelley immediately links the 'birth' with death, and mentions Elizabeth, Victor kissing her while she is being killed. '...imprinted the first kiss on he lips, they became livid with the hue of death.' This is ironic because Elizabeth is murdered later on in the story, by Victor's creation. Shelley also uses a variety of motifs. 'By dim and yellow light of the moon', this phrase is associated with the monster, as it appears when the monster is created. When the monster threatens revenge, it comes across as an eerie moment. 'One hand was stretched out'. This is again, a different motif ++ ...read more.

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