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Frankenstein - What is the significance of chapter 5 to the novel Frankenstein and does it show us about the contexts in which it was written?

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Frankenstein What is the significance of chapter 5 to the novel Frankenstein and does it show us about the contexts in which it was written? Frankenstein is classed as a gothic novel because it has the typical features of a gothic novel such as fear, terror, the supernatural, mysterious settings, stereotyped characters and the dark side of human nature. All classic gothic novels were written between 1765 and 1820. This means that Mary Shelley would have read other gothic novels before she wrote Frankenstein. Most gothic writers were interested in the breakdown of boundaries, exploration of what is forbidden, breaking the laws of God and the dark side of the human psyche. Mary Shelley wrote this story during a trip to Switzerland in 1816. She went with her husband and lord Bryon, a writer. It was a wet summer and they had to stay in a lot. Lord Bryon suggested that they wrote a horror story to keep themselves occupied. She was listening to many conversations between Lord Bryon and her husband, Percy Shelley, about the origins of life and whether humans would ever discover how life is created. ...read more.


The next morning he goes walking in the town of Ingolstadt, avoiding going back to his apartment. As he walks by the town inn, he comes across his friend Henry Cleveral, who had just arrived to begin studding at the university. He is glad to see him and catch up on the family news. He brings Henry back to his apartment. Victor enters first too see no sign of the monster. Then from months of hard work and isolation he falls ill with a nervous fever that lasts several months. Henry nurses him back to health and when Victor has recovered give him a letter from Elizabeth that had arrived during his illness. In the first paragraph it says ' it was on a dreary night of November' this tells me that it was a sad and miserable night. So this sets the scene for the chapter. It also says 'my candle was nearly burnt out' so this tells us that it is dark going to last. I think Mary Shelley sets the atmosphere like this to show the reader that the coming of life to the monster is a bad thing by when she uses the word 'a dreary night' meaning a sad night. ...read more.


This is an indication of what's going to happen later on in the story. When the monster comes into the bedroom and Victor wakes up, Victor panics and runs off. The book says 'one hand was stretched out seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed down stairs'. This is only Victor's side of the story. The reader may feel that the monster has only tried to detain him because he wants to talk to him. When Victor says 'But I escaped' he means he has escaped the appearance of the monster but the monster may have been trying to find out who he is. The reader may now not believe Victors Story of accounts from now on in the novel. When Henry Clerval arrived at the university he calls it 'the land of knowledge' but Victor knows that knowledge is a powerful thing and he knows the consequences of knowing too much. Victor does not tell Henry about the monster. This shows the reader that victor is a bit of a 'coward' because he cannot own up to his mistakes, not even to a friend. To conclude I think that in this chapter the reader will change their view on Victor Frankenstein and start to question Victors story of accounts on whether they are true or not. By Stuart Cox ...read more.

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