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Frankenstein analysis

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I feel that Mary Shelley could possibly have embedded many subliminal messages in the novel, Frankenstein, and that there could have been other reasons for the creation of the novel. I think that beneath the novel being a scary story, written because of a competition, there could have been other motives for her to write it. The novel was apparently written, because Mary Shelley and her husband were visiting their friend Lord Byron in Switzerland, and one night, by the fire, they decided to have a competition, who could write the best horror story? One night, when Mary Shelley was thinking of ideas, she heard her husband and Lord Byron talking about Galvanism (running electric currents through dead muscles), and thought of the idea of bringing someone back to life. The novel is about playing with life and death, and what can happen to you if you become obsessed with being able to play god. It is about a man who loses his mother, and swears he will find a way to bring her back. He creates life, however abandons his creation, simply because it is ugly on the outside, and this is the worst mistake of his life. The competition may have been one of her motives, however, could have lead to others, and the competition may have been an excuse to stop people thinking she was mad. ...read more.


You can also learn this through the words he uses to describe his creation; he says "hideous guest," and "beheld the wretch," without even finding out its personality. Also, instead of focusing on the few beautiful features of the monster, he continues to focus on the negative, saying that "lustrous black and flowing," and "teeth of pearly whiteness," just make its ugly features look worse. Also, from chapter five, you learn that Frankenstein is extremely obsessive, and has extremes of personality. He goes from extremely scared and worried, to extremely calm and serene; he says "I forgot my horror and misfortune." I think that Mary Shelley did this so you see he is on the border of insanity, and all of these extreme mood swings "tip him over the edge." I think Mary Shelley used language to develop lots of atmosphere in chapter five, I think this is because this huge build up of atmosphere makes you read faster and faster, and makes you want to read more. She uses many long, complex sentences, such as "Delighted and surprised, I embraced her; but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel," this creates tension, giving the novel more effect. ...read more.


Another example of a 19th century word is countenance (another word for face), at present time, people are always looking to find abbreviations, so they can communicate faster, however, words like countenance are much longer, and more suited to the formal 19th century style of literature. From chapter five, we can also learn that in the 19th century, writers would use lots of powerful adjectives, and 19th century works would be very descriptive, with lots of imagery. Examples of powerful descriptive phrases, and adjectives are "grave-worms crawling," and "demonical." These words add lots of atmosphere to the story, and there is a strong use of imagery. The final thing I have learned about 19th century prose from chapter five is the use of colons and semi colons. Mary Shelley uses many semi colons and commas in the novel, and her use of commas and semi colons allows her to build atmosphere using long and complex sentences, and then often rapidly switch to a short one, for example "I took refuge in the courtyard belonging to the house which I inhabited; where I remained during the rest of the night, walking up and down in the greatest agitation, listening attentively, catching and fearing each sound as if it were to announce the approach of the demoniacal corpse to which I had so miserably given life," then, the first sentence in the next paragraph is just the word "Oh!" This shows that in the 19th century, very often, some people would use commas and semi colons often, instead of full stops. ...read more.

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