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Mary Shelleys, Frankenstein.

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Introduction

Frankenstein Coursework Mary Shelley's, 'Frankenstein' came a bout when poet, Lord Byron, challenged her to a competition of who could write the most frightening supernatural tale. First told as a ghost story on the shores of Lake Geneva it was later published in 1818 under a false name and became her most famous novel. Frankenstein begins with Captain Robert Walton telling the story of Frankenstein and his monster. Walton had set out to sea to explore the North Pole and advance in scientific discoveries however his ship gets trapped within some ice which is when Frankenstein is found in a weak state. This is when he begins to tell Walton his story, of his childhood, his family, his research and then his creation. As the novel advances Walton takes over the narrative, for it to be finished off by the monster telling Walton of his vengeance and remorse before he leaves to destroy himself. In chapter five of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Shelley uses the setting to terrify the reader. She creates an atmosphere using many different descriptive techniques such as the time of day and the weather to create fear and anxiety. In the first paragraph for example Shelley uses the weather to portray Frankenstein's feelings, "it was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the paned, and my candle was nearly burnt out." ...read more.

Middle

The feature which could alone have been considered successful simply worsens the creature as a whole, "but these luxuriance's only form a more horrid contrast". Shelley goes on in the next paragraph to describe Frankenstein's obsession with his creation, and shows how he reaches an understanding about his work, "I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body"- this portrays Frankenstein's realisation. He is starting to understand that his intentions were not for the good of science and discoveries but simply because he could. Shelley puts across Frankenstein's desperation in the language she uses, "I had deprived myself of rest and health", implying that he was so obsessed with finishing and succeeding that he was willing to make himself ill and sacrifice sleep over it. Shelly then uses juxtapositions as the reality sets in on what Dr. Frankenstein has done, "the dream vanished, and breathless horror..." It shows the fast change from being so desperate to finish what he thought was going to be beautiful and then the realisation of the living, repulsive monster. It's almost as if his hard work blinded him from the realism of the situation and what was morally right. ...read more.

Conclusion

However Shelley then goes on to write, "seemingly to detain me" implying that the monster's intentions were in fact bad or at least that is what Frankenstein assumed. Shelley continues to portray the guilt and remorse Frankenstein holds and it seems to be increasingly frightening and angering him, "the demoniacal corpse to which I had so miserably given life", "Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance". Shelley then refers to the monster as a mummy, "A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch". This would have been very effective in the time Frankenstein was written as it was around the time when tomb discoveries had been made scientists were looking into mummification. Through the lack of knowledge they had, stories emerged of cursed tombs and truths were exaggerated as people began telling horror stories. For this reason the reference to mummies would have frightened those in the time of Mary Shelley. It is also effective today when wanting to create terror as after discovering Tutankhamen's tomb many films and novels were produced with tales of mummification which are still around today. Another way I believe Shelley's Frankenstein was more effective creating horror back then was because there had not been much of a horror genre portrayed in the media. ...read more.

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