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Frankenstein - Look at the significance of Chapter 5 to the novel as a whole. Focus on the writers use of language to describe setting, character and what it shows about social and historical influences.

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Introduction

Roopesh Chavda Look at the significance of Chapter 5 to the novel as a whole. Focus on the writer's use of language to describe setting, character and what it shows about social and historical influences. 'Frankenstein' was written in 1816 by the talented Mary Shelley; she was only 19 years old when she wrote this novel. Mary Shelley had a very political free thinking family. Her mother Mary Wollenstonecraft was a feminist campaigner and her father William Godwin was a famous anarchist philosopher, novelist, journalist and atheist dissenter. William Godwin allowed Mary Shelley to have access to many libraries which influenced and helped Mary to become the writer she wanted to be. Mary's mother died 10 days after giving birth due to a puerperal fever. When Mary Shelley wrote the novel 'Frankenstein' or 'The Modern Prometheus' which is its subtitle, Mary did not write her name on the book because people would have thought that it would have been immoral for a woman to write such a horrific and gothic novel in the 18th Century. 'Frankenstein' then became a best seller and Mary's name was written on the second edition of the novel 5 years after the first. Just before the novel was written Mary met Percy Bysche Shelley, who was still married, Mary then ran away with him and they were married 2 weeks later. This made Percy's previous wife commit suicide. In Mary Shelley's time many people were philosophical and religious, so they believed only that God created Man, and the human beings should not interfere with the origins of life, and that nobody could have the same power over life as God. ...read more.

Middle

Chapter 5 tells us many new things about Frankenstein. Is Frankenstein the monster? or did his obsessions ruin him? And that Frankenstein has become so obsessed with the origins of life that he wants to become 'The Modern Prometheus' changing mankind forever by taking Gods powers of life giving like Prometheus taking fire from Zeus, is Frankenstein a Titan as well as monster? This obsession drives him to creating this monster which is born not knowing anything, just as a newborn child and the horror of this monster makes Frankenstein reject it leaving the monster alone, the monsters 'yellow skin' and 'shrivelled complexion' horrifies Frankenstein so much that he takes refuge in the courtyard, 'I took refuge in the courtyard.' This tells us that Frankenstein is prejudice, and he has no pride over his creation which took him over 2 years. His passion has driven him to madness, and rejecting the monster, makes it mad, as Rousseau said that everything is born innocent, but people and society corrupt it, so that is what Frankenstein is doing, he is corrupting the monster. This shows that inside Frankenstein is the monster, but the monster is warm hearted. This is why you do not feel sympathy for him, because his actions were unforgivable. Frankenstein should have been more responsible, and he should have thought more before making the creature. We should feel sympathy for the creature, because it has been rejected and its sad, 'disgust filled my heart', Frankenstein should not have done what he did because he cannot be God, and the monster then becomes evil and kills his whole family sending him to the treacherous arctic snows, where he meets Robert Walton who also has an obsession, his ardour is getting to the ...read more.

Conclusion

'Frankenstein' shows us that science and technology in the 19th century were rapidly progressing but that the majority of people were strictly religious. I thought that the novel was excessively horrific and it had a good structure. The choice of words made chapter 5 very effective, e.g. endeavouring, toils, lassitude, and there are many more throughout chapter 5 and the novel. The language techniques create a more intensifying atmosphere, gripping the reader to the novel. The novel is still popular today because films have been made about it, which are similar to the novel. The novel has ventured into the impossible and probably baffled scientists who read it. 'Frankenstein' can be linked to religion because only god is the bringer of life, there are many ethical issues too. Would it be right to take dead bodies and experiment on them? This is an example of an ethical situation. 'Frankenstein' relates to other controversial biological experiments like genetics which people think is amazing because it can help catch criminals. Whereas cloning is thought of as terrible because people do not want scientists tampering with nature. On the other-hand life support machines can save peoples lives because it keeps them alive. Transplants can also save lives, so these are the positive ways on experimenting on human bodies, but the experiments in Frankenstein could cause a lot of controversy if that experiment was carried out today. Frankenstein is to blame for the events because it was his own passion that drove him to madness, but it could have been Monsieur Waldman because he introduced him to the horrific experiment of animating inanimate bodies, but overall Frankenstein has had that thought all his life, therefore the real monster is Frankenstein. ...read more.

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