• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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"

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Mary Shelley essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Frankenstein. Look at the significance of chapter five to the novella as a whole. ...

    3 star(s)

    Mary Shelley foreshadows what will happen next Shelley has used "with the gloom of the surrounding comfortless sky". The reader will feel pathos towards Frankenstein as he has caused his own misery, also anxious as they will be able to predict what will happen next.

  2. Look at the significance of chapter five to the novel as a whole. Focus ...

    She published the book under a man's name because a woman writing a book at this time was very unusual and society was still very sexist. Women were thought of as less important than men and so were not accepted as writers, and were refused publication; although many novels at

  1. How Mary Shelley influences the readers reaction to the creature

    The use of rich, textural language animates the creature in the readers mind, such as 'his yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath', and 'his hair was of lustrous black, and flowing'. Shelley's use of the words "horrible contrast" give the reader the opinion that the

  2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - With reference to chapters 11-16, describe the development and ...

    How strange, I thought, that the same cause should produce such opposite effects!" Despite the similarity to the way in which the monster made his discoveries and acquired knowledge and understanding right at the beginning of his life, he is gradually developing by thinking things through and rationalising.

  1. Frankenstein - Explain how the character of the monster develops throughout the novel. How ...

    Shelley makes the reader feel sympathy at the same time as they feel disgust for the monster. Similar to a child the monster has been born and similar to a child it is innocent, as it is unfamiliar to its surroundings and cannot speak.

  2. In your view how do you think Mary Shelley wanted her readers to respond ...

    At this point, the reader does not know what to feel for Frankenstein. On the one hand he is idealistic and imagining a perfect invulnerable human banishing all disease and on the other hand he is collecting limbs and bones and showing lack of remorse.

  1. Frankenstein. I aim to discuss and analyse the significance of chapter 5 to the ...

    When writing Frankenstein, Shelley was inspired by the scientific revolution of the time. She was familiar with two people, Galvani, who had evidently re-animated dead tissue and Aldini, who wired up a criminal's corpse to a battery so that his jaw appeared to move and a fist to clench.

  2. Frankenstein and Blade Runner - Comparative in Context.

    This places Frankenstein at the forefront of a new sub-genre, also incorporating fledgling sci-fi. This again places context, especially the parallels to the promethean myth which betray Shelley?s background and education. Her language is formal* to appeal to an educated audience, and she uses as many big words as she can to sound smart.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work