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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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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

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