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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. "Frankenstein"

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Introduction

GCSE ENGLISH LITERATURE COURSEWORK PRE-1914 PROSE MARY SHELLEY'S "FRANKENSTEIN" 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. "Frankenstein" is a novel which was written in the 19th century by Mary Shelley. The novel is about a man named Victor Frankenstein who attempts to create life, and succeeds. In this novel we get to see the powers and dangers of technology and Mary Shelley suggests that when you meddle with it the outcomes can be very dangerous. The novel not only tells us a story, but also has a deeper meaning with a number of key themes. One of the themes is that the idea of seeking knowledge is risky. "He who seeks knowledge only has sorrow." This is another one of the key themes of Frankenstein. Mary Shelley's life had a great impact on her writing; one of the reasons was that her parents were both intellectual, which led to Mary Shelley being interested in many debates during that time. One of the things that was happening during that time was the industrial revolution, and there were a lot of debates on that. Another influential experience she had was a miscarriage of her daughter. Some people think this could have been the reason why she was so interested in bringing the dead back to life. Not only that, but her own mother died ten days after her birth, which could have been another reason for her interest in life after death. This novel was also written as a warning about man's use of technology. Mary Shelley is trying to examine how far we should take technology and science. It also shows her fear that people themselves are turning into machines. The novel Frankenstein is a message to people not to interfere with the course of nature. ...read more.

Middle

Throughout this whole novel, Frankenstein's project and the creature create a rift between him and his family and friends, making him an outcast like the creature. This is the irony of this novel; he becomes the outsider himself. Mary Shelley uses language to develop the novel's atmosphere in chapter 5. She does this by entertaining the reader, mainly to create fear in the reader. 'Frankenstein' is one of the earliest examples of horror fiction. The reason Mary Shelley creates fear in the reader is to entertain them; the reason for this is that she expects them to read on since they feel scared. This makes the reader want to know what happens further on in the novel, plus it makes them carry on reading. Another way she makes the readers engaged in reading 'Frankenstein' is by using special techniques to describe the atmosphere in chapter 5, which makes the readers want to carry on reading. We see the use of this when Mary Shelley portrays the setting for chapter 5 when the creature comes to life. To achieve her aim in giving the chapter atmosphere, she begins with the sentence: "It was on a dreary night of November" She does this to establish the atmosphere of darkness, secrecy and isolation. To put forward this idea Mary Shelley talks about the weather, the time and the place, where it's all taking place. This all discloses Victor's isolation and the mysteriousness behind the form of work he's doing. One way she conveys the atmosphere is by referring to the weather and its condition throughout the beginning paragraph. "It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out," This quote shows the comparison between light and darkness, which adds to the mysteriousness of what is going on inside the laboratory. The writer is trying to emphasize that the creature is unknown to the outside world, so therefore this creates a sense of remoteness. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is shown in the setting, where she describes the rain and darkness. One thing which Mary Shelley shows a lot is, Victor's isolation and this is typical of Gothic fiction. The Gothic tradition is also shown in the plot where people deal with the unknown; they deal with things, which are out of their imagination and to do with supernatural. We see this with Victor because he is creating something that no one can imagine. Even though Gothic fiction is so old, it is still popular because it's a fashion, which will always remain with us. Another literary context, which Mary Shelley was influenced by, was Romanticism. The Romantics believed that the individual was more important than society. They also believed that the emotions of people were important too. Another thing that they believed was that nature has great powers. In chapter 5 we see the influence of romanticism when Victor falls ill, because of technology and science. However he is then helped to recover by nature. "It was the divine spring, and the season contributed greatly to my convalescence." Victor says that nature restores him back to health and back to his normal self too. Overall Mary Shelley is trying to say that nature is the greatest medicine and one should not try to change the fact by using technology. In the whole novel Mary Shelley argues against technology by talking about nature and emotions. We can clearly see that she is influenced by Romanticism in the writing of the novel. Another example that she uses is when the creature says to Frankenstein: 'you have given me emotions but didn't tell me how to use them'. This is typical of a Romantic's thought. Some of the things, which inspired Mary Shelley to write about Romanticism, were that her husband Percy Bysse Shelley was a romantic poet and so was their friend Byron. It was a particularly strong influence on artists and writer, at that time. So finally looking at the overall literary context used in chapter 5, it has given us as readers a better understanding of 19th century prose. ...read more.

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