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Discuss Chapter 5 of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. What do we learn about Victor Frankenstein and his creature and the themes of the novel as a whole?

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Introduction

Discuss Chapter 5 of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. What do we learn about Victor Frankenstein and his creature and the themes of the novel as a whole? Within your essay you should make reference to: * Genre * Historical context * The writer's craft Within this essay I intend to discuss how Frankenstein and his creature change and how subconsciously they love each other. Chapter 5 will be used to show different themes as well as seeing how Frankenstein acts around his creation. Also the way Frankenstein has played God will be seen in this chapter. I will start this essay by looking at chapter 5. Shelley shows, in chapter 5, Frankenstein and the creature's reaction to the 'creation'. Shelley conveys Frankenstein's horror at the creature he has brought to life and his reaction to it. 'How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?' This quote shows how Frankenstein is amazed that although he worked so hard to create a being, it has ended in tears. Frankenstein therefore has reacted with horror at his creation. ...read more.

Middle

The opening couple of paragraphs in chapter 5 tell us something about the genre. 'The rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out'. This short quote in chapter 5 shows that Frankenstein is not a horror which is frighteningly scary otherwise this quote would say something like 'The rain slammed against the panes, and light from the storm lit the room. Frankenstein, the book, has a far more miserable genre and is quite depressing in many ways. Romance is directly linked in with the genre. A Romantic link is obvious considering Mary's background. Her Father Godwyn was a major influence on the Romantics. Her husband Percy Shelley was a key Romantic poet and she often spent time with other poets like Lord Byron. 'The abrupt sides of vast mountains were before me; the icy wall of the glacier overhung me; a few shattered pines were scattered around; and the solemn silence of this glorious presence-chamber of imperial nature was broken only by the brawling waves or the fall of some vast fragment, the thunder sound of the avalanche or the cracking, reverberated along the mountains, of the accumulated ice, which, through the silent working of immutable laws, was ever and anon rent and torn, as if it had been but a plaything in their hands.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Shelley may have said that she wanted to write a ghost story but there is nothing supernatural in Frankenstein. More recent definitions of Gothic emphasise the dark side of the human psyche. We now consider the Gothic as trying to expose the unconscious world of fears. Frankenstein can be seen as a precursor of later Gothic novels like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Looking at the language Shelley used, it is archaic using short sentences throughout the novel to cause impact. 'Beautiful!' and 'Great God!' are both examples to show this impact. I conclude by talking about what Shelley was trying to convey by writing this novel. I feel as if the novel is very personal and direct to Shelley's life. She used her own previous life experiences and used them to write Frankenstein. I think Shelley was critical of Victor's creation. She wrote about the creature in such a horrible way and really made the reader feel sorry for the creature even if he was an 8foof, ugly, repulsive, scary monster. Shelley also made Victor a very complex yet overly focused character. Mary Shelley made Frankenstein a best selling book for many years to come after the first copy. This book would continue to sell until it became what it is today, one of the best Gothic Horrors ever written. ...read more.

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