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Frankenstein, . Focusing on the writer's use of language to describe the setting and characters.

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Introduction

Examine the significance of chapter 5 of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to the novel as a whole. Focus on the writer's use of language to describe the setting and character and what it shows about social and historical influences. Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley, when she was 19 years old. The story is full of horrific events which were probably influenced by events in her own life. For example, her own mother died just days after her birth and out of the four children Mary Shelley bore herself, only one survived. She was then widowed at the age of 25. Frankenstein is written in a gothic genre. Usually meaning that the story has a plot that revolves around mystery and suspense and include intense atmospheres and powerful weather. At the time the novel was written. People were God fearing, they regularly went to church and the church had a powerful influence over their lives. Therefore the idea of giving life to something that had been dead, would be seen as un natural and maybe seen as trying to "play God". Although science was beginning to develop at the time the novel was written, people were still superstitious and wary of things they didn't understand. ...read more.

Middle

In chapter 11 Frankenstein's creation is portrayed as new born baby rather than a monster. He is experiencing the world for the first time through his senses. For example he describes his first sunrise a sensation of pleasure. "I started up and beheld a radiant form rise from among the trees." Similarly his first experience of birds singing, he describes as pleasant, "A pleasant sound, which often saluted my ears, preceded from the throats of the little winged animals." However when he first comes into contact with fire he is delighted by the warmth it emits but so overcome with joy he proceeds to put his into it, burning himself. It is clear in this chapter that Frankenstein has not taken any responsibility for teaching his creation about the world and how to live, he has abandoned him. The "monster" was not burn evil but because of the things but because of the things he was subjected to it caused the creation to seek revenge on Frankenstein. When Frankenstein realizes what he has created he actually rushes out of the room to his bed chamber, where he tries to sleep but is unable to. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reader is left with a sense of unease. Chapter 5 is significant to the novel for a number of reasons. Firstly, we see the creation being brought to life against a dark and brooding background, very characteristic of a gothic novel. Secondly, Frankenstein is shown to be in a state of high anxiety. It is almost as if he has a premonition of the terrible events he is about to unleash. As soon as his creation is infused with life he realises he has made a monumental mistake. He has tried to play God and has failed dramatically. With the act of creation comes great responsibility and Frankenstein is unwilling to accept this responsibility. He neglects and completely abandons his creation and almost loses his mind in the process. He makes no attempt to teach the creation the rules of society, for example what is right and what is wrong. Without the aid of his friend, Clerval, Frankenstein would possibly have ended up in an asylum. At the end of the chapter Shelley leaves the reader feeling a sense of impending doom. By quoting a verse from Coleridge's Ancient Mariner there is a sense of the foreshadowing events yet to unfold. ...read more.

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