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Look at the significance of chapter 5 to the novel as a whole. Focus on the relevance and effect of the writer's use of language to describe setting, character and what it shows about social and historical influences.

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Introduction

Look at the significance of chapter 5 to the novel as a whole. Focus on the relevance and effect of the writer's use of language to describe setting, character and what it shows about social and historical influences. Chapter 5 may be viewed as the centre of Mary Shelly's novel, Frankenstein. The chapter reveals bad parenting and the idea of science over powering religion as key themes. Shelly's writing style highlights this chapter clearly as one of importance. Without chapter 5 both the creation and novel would not have been given their spark of life. Life is given to Frankenstein's creation at the very beginning of chapter 5. The first moment that Frankenstein "saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open", he was relieved and ecstatic. All his labour had finally paid off, and as he saw the creature it was "beautiful!" These feelings lasted just seconds because now Frankenstein's work was over he could look at it for what it was, a monster. Although he did not think clearly from this point and just abandoned his child. This act of Frankenstein's gives meaning to events that occur later in the novel e.g., the creation wanting revenge on Frankenstein. The theme of bad parenting is shown through this late incident, another theme that the audience is introduced to is thought of science overpowering religion. ...read more.

Middle

From such rude principles our form began; And earth was metamorphos'd into man." Ideas from this passage from Ovid have leaked into chapter 5 where Frankenstein says, "I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet." Mary Shelly creates a vivid and realistic world through her inspired use of language. The opening phrase of chapter 5, "It was on a dreary night of November", is a classic example of some of the features needed in a gothic novel. The reader is told it is night time, by setting the scene at night Mary Shelly forms an impression of mystery and secrecy. The events that occur are under the cover of darkness and readers are engaged by secrets or the unknown as well as scared. Shelly then describes the night as dreary; this word on its own is usually used in negative light and links to words like desolate, lifeless and depressing. It can be used to illustrate the weather or even feelings, giving layers of meaning for the reader to uncover. On the surface Shelly is simply describing the November weather but beneath she is perfecting her gothic scene with well selected adjectives. Dreary can be perceived as a description of rain and rain, in gothic novels, is a symbol of sadness, death or a bad event. ...read more.

Conclusion

He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out seemingly to detain me, but I escaped". Here the creature is only acting like any new born would and is trying to interact with its parent but instead of having maternal instincts Frankenstein sees it as an attack and consequently abandons the creature. The way Shelly wrote this extract is explaining to the reader the harmless actions of the creature and then she goes on to describe how Frankenstein views it. Some may see the creation as Frankenstein does, a cold monster, but others will look at the deeper layers and discover that the creation was only turning to its parent for support and reaching out to embrace Frankenstein not to detain him. Frankenstein very immature and should have thought his idea through in more detail, he only thinks of himself and not all the innocent people that her hurt as a result of his actions. To conclude I feel the central point of the novel is chapter 5. It is the main ingredient and without it the book would not come together. The chapters before it are leading up to that point and then the chapters after it are results chapter 5. This chapter is the seed to the novel and the roots are the first few chapters giving anchorage and background knowledge to the novel, then the story starts to grow and progress, last chapters form the bud until the novel ends with a blooming flower. By Antoinette Holmes ...read more.

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