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Frankenstein Essay

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Introduction

"Look at the significance of chapter five to the novel as a whole. Focus on the relevance and effect of writer's use of language to describe setting, character and what it shows about social and historical influences." This essay will probe into techniques which Mary Shelley (1797-1851) has incorporated in her novel Frankenstein, especially in Chapter 5, to achieve different atmospheres and to provide a clear sense of character which can help the reader to shape their personal thoughts of what is happening by ambiguous use of language. Frankenstein, also known as 'The Modern Prometheus', was written during the early 18th century (1816-1817), when Shelley was at the young age of 18. Mary Shelley was nurtured in a political-free thinking; radical family and her mother was a feminist. She died 10 days after giving birth to her. Shelley's own daughter also died within two weeks of her birth. Her half-sister, Fanny, died committing suicide. She was surrounded by death; this biographical information insights readers as to where Shelley's eccentric original ideas and fascinations of creating life, which condemned societal thoughts and morality at that period, had arisen from. Frankenstein is written in two contrasting genres; Gothic and Romance. Shelley fuses these two genres together in Frankenstein to create a dramatic effect which will linger, indulging bittersweet emotion into readers, until the final pages where the tragedy, and fatality of this mix, is uncovered. ...read more.

Middle

If Victor had chosen to share his knowledge with other willing men of Science, beyond his state of delirium, with, say, Henry; he may have had the opportunity, or cooperative help, to put the creature's activities to a halt - or to merely 'prevent' the deaths of those whom he 'loves'. Reference to the 'courtyard' is also dramatic in reinforcing his fragmented thoughts because a courtyard is an open-space which is surrounded by only four walls on each side; which is just enough space for Victor to ponder through and device his thoughts to banish the monster from the face of the Earth, but, however, there is not enough space to see the full-picture of the what the monster is really trying to achieve. Victor is thus prone to over-analysis, mainly due to his scientific mind. This is evident in deciding the fate of Elizabeth - Victor misinterprets the creature's warning of "I will be there on your wedding night." He thinks - in-spite of seeing the countless number of his relations getting murdered - that the creature is referring to him; he is planning to kill him, and not Elizabeth. In a sense Victor is still naive, and self-righteous enough to still think that the creature wants to physically demolish him - which is emphasised by his mad endeavour to hunt the creature down to the North Pole. ...read more.

Conclusion

This frightful, hideous image of the monster is further elaborated on in, "Oh! no mortal could support the horror of that countenance"; "it became a thing that even Dante could not have conceived." The way Victor describes him saying 'no mortal' reinforces that no living thing, in this case human, could even bear to look at him - the inference to Dante emphasises how the creature has surpassed the human connotations of the word 'hideous'. This is because Dante, especially his death mask, is one of the most controversially hideous architectural figures of History to people, both contemporarily and at that time. Dante had also written Italian Poetry (subsequently translated to other languages) indulgent of emotions, such as Loneliness and exile in Paradiso. The way Shelley makes even Dante scared emphasises how there is a maximum level of tolerance; and when this level is surpassed; one cannot help but turn-away, despite their initial contentment to their feelings and beliefs. This puts an emphasis on the creature's loneliness, showing how nothing prior to his creation had trodden upon this Earth, thus nothing currently resembles him - and without Victor's help of creating him a partner - nothing ever will. He will be the celibate version of 'Adam'. He is lonely to a degree where he struggles to answer the most fundamental questions of identity and personal History. ...read more.

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