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What is the Significance of Chapter 5 to the Novel Frankenstein and what does it show us about the Contexts in which it was written?

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What is the Significance of Chapter 5 to the Novel Frankenstein and what does it show us about the Contexts in which it was written? 'Frankenstein' is usually classed as a Gothic novel. As it contains fear, terror, supernatural, mysterious settings, stereotyped characters and the dark side of human nature, which are all typical features of gothic Noels. In 1818 'Frankenstein' was published and all classic gothic novels were written between 1765 and1820. Gothic writers are interested in the breakdown of boundaries; exploration of what is forbidden, breaking the laws of god and nature, the dark side of the human psyche, all of which is contained in 'Frankenstein'. A visit to Switzerland with her husband in the summer of 1816 prompted Mary Shelley to write 'Frankenstein'. They were staying near a friend called 'lord Byron', a writer. However, it was a wet summer and they had to stay indoors a lot. Lord suggested that they each write a ghost story to entertain themselves. Throughout the summer she over heard conversations between her husband and lord Byron about the origins of life and when ever humans would ever discover how life was created, she also heard about experiments and tales. ...read more.


Shelley is using negative descriptive to give this scene sense of horror that victor is feeling. This is an appropriately bleak and depressing scene for the opening of the 'dull yellow eye' of the creature. This atmosphere is used to open this paragraph to set the horror and anxiousness that the creature is going to create. In the opening paragraph Shelley refers to 'infuse a spark to the lifeless thing.' Here she is probably going on about galvanism, which is how the creature was brought to life in 'Frankenstein'. Shelley was living in an age of scientific developments, and so her ideas would have been experiments and scientific debates of her time. Many scientists then looked to chemistry to give them the secrets of life, and Shelley would have done research on these matters. A scientist called, luigi Galvani believed that there was a different form of electricity produced by lightning, and the brain; contained in animals. This vital force was called galvanism', which made muscles move. Experiments were done on galvanism, wires would be attached to the a human body and the corpse began to move, making it look as thought the body has been brought back to life. ...read more.


As victor is walking by the town inn, Victor comes across his friends Henry Clerval, who has arrived to study at the same collage as victor, Henrys father has let him come at last. There is irony in Henry speech. 'He has permitted me to undertake a voyage of discovery to the land of knowledge.' Henry sees knowledge as a good thing but Victor's use of scientific knowledge leads to tragedy. Also, Henry is one of the people who later die as a result of Frankenstein's use of this knowledge. Henry saves Victor, but later is murdered by his creation. This tells us a lot about Henry's appearance throughout this chapter. Henry is willing to spend months of hard labour nursing Victor back to health and treats Victor in great respect, but yet victor does not treat his family at all that well. Victor does not tell Henry anything about what he has done. This would influence the reader attitude to Victor to the rest of the novel in a way.... This gives the rest of the novel a theme of secrecy. Human nature and secrecy... This chapter is the turning point to the novel or other words were it all happens; from Victor being excited with solving the secret of life to being horrified by his creation...... ...read more.

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