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

With Relation to social/historical context, how does Mary Shelley explore the theme of monstrosity in chapter five of Frankenstein?

Extracts from this document...


With Relation to social/historical context, how does Mary Shelley explore the theme of monstrosity in chapter five of Frankenstein? The story of Frankenstein is a tragic tale whereby an obsessive scientist named Victor Frankenstein works night and day, isolated from his friends and family to bring a human to life. At the time of the story being written, England was undergoing a great industrial revolution which resulted in many scientists thinking up new inventions and ways to make life better. Victor's longing to create life begun after his mother, whom he was very attached to, passed away. He wished to end death and sadness and gain the ability to create new life scientifically. This was and still is frowned upon by some audiences as it was seen as 'Playing god'. In the beginning of the fifth chapter, tension is built up as Victor starts work on 'a dreary night of November' on the monster. The fact that Victor works by night suggests that he shouldn't be doing what he is. ...read more.


The line: 'With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me...' and '...it was already one in the morning' show Victor's determination to create this being. Though his love for Elizabeth did exist, he was quick to leave her so he could get on with his work on creating life. For 'two years he worked on the creature', however, he was very quick to abandon the outcome of his toils. These actions strongly suggest that Victor is an irresponsible man and refuses to acknowledge his actions. The creature itself is portrayed as monstrous, through Victor's descriptions of his appearance. Descriptions such as: 'miserable monster' and 'demonical corpse' are used. These descriptions portray the creature as some kind of ugly, deformed and evil character. The word 'demonical' suggests that he is evil and out to get Victor; however this is far from true. The creature's appearance was not his own choice, though Victor still cruelly shunned him away due to it. ...read more.


This could have been part of the message that Mary Shelley wished to send out. The true monstrous figure in the story is Victor. This is all down to his cruel nature and the disgust he shows towards the creature he spent two years trying to bring to life. Victor even goes as far as describing the creature as a 'half-distinguished light', meaning he felt the creature was merely 'half of a human being'. The author, Mary Shelley, in my opinion was trying to send out the messages: it is wrong to play God and that society can sometimes be very judgemental. The reasons are that Mary Shelley depicts the creature as helpless, confused and needy, so that the reader will sympathize towards him, whereas she depicts Victor as a cruel and selfish person, which supports the point of playing God being wrong. The reason I believe Mary Shelley tried to send out the message of society often being judgemental is so that people will realise that appearances are not everything, and that they can learn to avoid judging people by this before getting to know their past and present situation. 1,060 words ?? ?? ?? ?? Aran Atwal ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This essay shows a good understanding of both text and context, but a more detailed reference to both would have given it a top rating. The arguments are addressed clearly and the views are well expressed. Literary terminology, quotation and context could all be improved. ****

Marked by teacher Karen Reader 08/05/2012

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

    How does Mary Shelley make the description of the monster waking in chapter five ...

    3 star(s)

    When the monster begins to come to life, the sense of unknown that we get also creates dramatic tension; we don't know what will happen, which is a very powerful device to use. For instance, "I saw the yellow eye of the creature open, it breathed hard and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs."

  2. How does Mary Shelley create tension and horror in Frankenstein?

    By chapter four Shelley shifts from tension to horror. At the end of letter four Frankenstein decides to tell his own story and the novel switches narrator from Walton to him.

  1. Frankenstein - Chapter 5 starts with 'It was on a dreary night of November', ...

    Frankenstein then embraced her and she became 'livid with the hue of death,' this means that the bloom and beauty of Elizabeth has been sucked up by Frankenstein. But this is all a dream, and this dream could be giving Frankenstein a sighn/message for the road ahead.

  2. Compare the ways in which Macbeth and Frankenstein are presented as flawed heroes.

    separated from all other apartments". These idea of "Unhallowed" completely contrast Frankenstein's idea of being holy and God-like. Shelley uses gothic ideas to increase a sense of wickedness and abnormality to the creation these include isolation Frankenstein living in "solitary" and the monster was created in "a dreary night of

  1. What are the parallels, or lack of parallels, between Walton's and Victor's experiences and ...

    But he focuses too much on having achieved the goal, than the little tasks he has to do, to reach it. Frankenstein is a more focused, consistent and patient man than Walton, and achieves his goal of creating a monster early in the novel because he paved the way by researching and collecting materials.

  2. How are family and domestic affection explored in Mary Shelleys Frankenstein

    The creature begins life isolated from mankind. His isolation is amplified by humans' reactions to him; he means them no harm, yet they flee from him or force him away as they are not used to such an 'abnormal presence'.

  1. Frankenstein: The theme of abortion

    Victor's views of giving life are distorted; he is selfish about what he wants from it and aborts it when it is a product he does not like. Shelley portrays a character who is disillusioned about the "secrets" of creation, consumed by his desire to make a life from death,

  2. Who is the REAL monster in Frankenstein?

    He also mentioned, 'I loved my brothers, Elizabeth, and Clerval,' suggesting that there is no monster in him - just a man protective of his family and close friends. No way did he want that creature near them, or anything from that dark side of his world.

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