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The novel Frankenstein is as relevant and terrifying as it was when it was first published in 1818. Explain how Mary Shelley makes her narrative effective and why it has fascinated and shocked audiences for nearly 190 years! Refer to chapter 5 in particul

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Introduction

The novel Frankenstein is as relevant and terrifying as it was when it was first published in 1818. Explain how Mary Shelley makes her narrative effective and why it has fascinated and shocked audiences for nearly 190 years! Refer to chapter 5 in particular when Victor creates monster as well as giving an overview of the novel. Frankenstein is a gruesome and terrifying novel telling the tale of one man, Victor Frankenstein, 'playing god' and reviving the dead. Although the story is told by a sea captain, who came into contact with Victor shortly before he passed away on his boat, there are effectively three narrators to this story, Victor, Victor's creation and the sea captain. The novel is set out in two main parts where both Victor and the monster give their story of events. Whilst the sea captain narrates throughout the story, in form of letter to his sister, all three characters have parts in the book where it is just them and only their opinions and actions are commented upon. The sea captain only repeats what Victor had told him before he dies. The story is about Victor Frankenstein's monster tormenting Victor and ruthlessly killing his loved ones until Victor can accept him to stop the monsters loneliness and misery. ...read more.

Middle

All of these effects adds to the gothic genre that the book is known to have a reputation for. A short text of highly descriptive writing follows, thus giving the audience a portrait of the monster and one that stays with them whenever the monster is mentioned. The author describes the truly grotesque monster as having, 'Yellow skin scarcely covering the muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes,' chapter 5. Mary Shelley goes on to describe the monster's 'shriveled complexion and straight black lips,' also chapter five. I find this text very effective as the descriptive language does not only give the audience a visual picture of the monster it sends a sense of shock into the reader which will build anticipation whenever the monster is mentioned again. Victor then realises he has made a huge mistake as the monster is born, all of the attractive body parts that he picked out for the monster to have, made the monster look truly grotesque and noticeably different to an ordinary human being. That sense of shock is felt in the next few paragraphs when the monster makes his first real entrance. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the reader feels sorry for Victor, they can't help thinking that it is his own fault for 'playing god' and refusing to care for his creation. In a sharp twist at the end, a grieving monster is shown upset and shocked over the body of his creator, who passed away on board the captain's ship, the monster leaves to commit suicide. In conclusion, the novel Frankenstein is as relevant and terrifying as it was in 1818 because of mankind's fear of the awakening dead and Shelley's obvious understanding of this. The highly religious audience of the 19th century will have been morally against the ideas proposed in the book, adding to the fear that people may and eventually would try and copy these ideas. Although the modern day audience is less religious, in comparison to the original audience, we still find the concept of awakening the dead sickening and it is a thought not accepted in modern day society. Her introduction to the monster gave readers a sense of shock which was repeated whenever the monster is mentioned again in the book, which is one of many reasons why it has fascinated and shocked audiences for over 190 years and will continue to do so for many more. She makes her narrative very affective by using three accounts of the story combined into one effectively narrated by the sea captain which works well. ...read more.

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