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'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley - Analyse Chapter five and consider its significance to the novel as a whole.

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Introduction

'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley By Ben Gowland Analyse Chapter five and consider its significance to the novel as a whole. This essay will consider the significance of Chapter five to the rest of the novel, and look at how Mary Shelley's life has influenced her writing. I am going to focus mainly on Chapter five, but first I am going to consider some important aspects of the preceding chapters. In Chapter one Victor describes how his mother and father met and how he and Elizabeth where brought together. When he first describes her, it contrasts greatly with his primary depiction of the creature "Her brow was clear and ample, her blue eyes cloudless, and her Lips and the moulding of her face so expressive of sensibility and Sweetness" (chapter 1, pg 36). Whereas Frankenstein's description of his creation is "His watery eyes his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips" (chapter 5, pg 58). Victor is horrified with the creature's appearance, and wishes to disassociate himself from his creation. Whereas in Elizabeth's case, Frankenstein is delighted to be acquainted to such a beautiful woman and describes her as: "My pride and my delight" (chapter 1, pg 37). Mary Shelley's mother was a devoted feminist, and had been advocating the rights of women when she was alive. ...read more.

Middle

I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."(Chapter 5, pg 58) Frankenstein flees his laboratory and from his creation, only for it to reappear in his room. When Frankenstein escapes from his apartment the creature disappears. Frankenstein falls ill at this point weakened by the horror of his creation. "The form of the monster on whom I had bestowed existence was forever in my eyes, and I raved incessantly concerning him." (Chapter 5, pg 63) Chapter five starts with 'it was on a dreary night in November' the word dreary means very miserable and dull, and this can refer to Gothicism. Readers have argued about whether the novel is written as a science fiction or as a gothic horror novel. This first sentence in chapter 5 goes in favour of the latter. Once the creature is created, Frankenstein talks about it being beautiful "beautiful', 'lustrous black' and 'pearly white'. He also talks about it being ugly 'horrid', 'yellow skin', 'watery eyes' and 'dun-white sockets'. These contrasts of negative and positive characteristics help create a more detailed image of the creature in the readers mind. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is the beginning of the end for Frankenstein's future, and the start of the struggle between creator and creature. It is Chapter five that is the pivotal point in the novel. Victor as creator condemns and rejects his creation. As with mankind if God rejected us, the creature would be damned. His actions after this point are those of an evil being, one that is damned. The monsters crimes affect Victor's family and therefore punish Victor. This punishment haunts him through the rest of the novel. Victor is weak and it is only near the end of the novel that he attempts to face his creature and to destroy it to restore nature's order. Finally the pursuit of his creation destroys him. It is the creation itself that decides he is an affront to nature and mankind. " I shall collect my funeral pile, and consume to ashes this miserable frame, that its remains may afford no light to any curious and unhallowed wretch, who would create such another as I have been" (Chapter 24, pg 224) In this way the novel ends on the course of despair that it began in Chapter five. This was with rejection and horror of the creation that was 'man made'. This suspicion of 'playing with God' is as relevant today as humans argue over issues such as 'cloning' and 'designer babies'. 1 ...read more.

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