This is continued with the idea that the monster has not turned out the way Frankenstein expected. “Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath…” The whole vivid description centres on the unnatural and freakish, especially the way the monster’s innards are described as visible through the monster’s sallow skin. This creates a dramatic image in the readers mind as something human shaped but ultimately wrong, different and scary, more animal than human. The monster is also described as having “watery eyes” which make us think of illness, or perhaps, in the case of the monster, crying. This idea makes the monster seem all the more wretched and repulsive.
Mary Shelley also uses the reaction of Victor Frankenstein to prejudice her readers against the monster in chapter 5. “…the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” The inventor turns against his creation immediately after giving it life. He takes no responsibility for the monster’s well being though he is the closest thing to a father the monster could have. He runs from his duty and breaks down, delirious with the shock of losing his dream and realising that he has done an evil deed. This adds to the fear felt by the reader; if even it’s creator cannot stand the monster, how evil would a stranger find it? The way Frankenstein turns against the monster the moment it comes to life signals to the reader that this is the moment when the sin is committed. Giving life is going against God so this is where all the negativity in this chapter, and in most of the book starts.
The last influence on our opinion of the monster I will look at in chapter 5 is the monster’s own words and actions. In this chapter they are deliberately given a double meaning; animal, or baby? “His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks.” This quote shows the monster as incoherent, whether due to a lack of intelligence or experience is unclear at this point. However the monster has, in effect, just been born and the behaviours Shelley describes are very similar to young children not quite in control of their movements, trying to pick up or chew on everything they find. When these movements are applied to the monster Shelley describes they become intimidating and threatening which gives the reader an even worse impression of the monster, when in reality it is just a scared child who has been called into the world and then rejected within minutes.
Frankenstein is the first living creature the monster sets eyes on. This means that in its view Frankenstein is its father. This means that the monster reaches out to him for comfort and shelter. “…one hand was stretched out,” This quote shows the monster reaching for Frankenstein. However Shelley deliberately leaves the action open for interpretation as an animal attack to reinforce the overall impression received by the reader in this chapter that the monster is an ugly, evil, dangerous, horrifying animal.
There are a lot of contrasts between chapters 5 and 10. The first is the setting which becomes a lot more dangerous and inaccessible in chapter 10. The setting is first portrayed in this chapter as enormous and amazing, as yet untouched by humans. “Solemn silence of this glorious presence-chamber of imperial nature was broken only by the brawling waves or the fall of some vast fragment.” This quote shows why Frankenstein has come to this place; he wants peace and isolation, and to think about more than just his own personal tragedy. “They elevated me from all little ness of feeling, and although they did not remove my grief, they subdued and tranquillized it.” The language used to describe the setting is more elaborate in this chapter, which reflects the increased grandeur of the scene. This is done to create a sense of awe from the reader and to show them how isolated the setting is, which affects their perception of the monster when he is introduced to the chapter.
This setting affects the reader’s perception of the monster because the fact he is living in such a place shows us two things about him that have considerably changed since chapter 5. The first is that he has realized that he will never fit into human society, so he has chosen to use his superhuman physical abilities to live in a place where humans cannot reach. The second is that he has gained independence and can now look after himself, physically and mentally. This is a big change from chapter 5 where he was like a small child, and could not understand why humans wouldn’t accept him. “He bounded over crevices in the ice, over which I had walked with caution.” This quote shows how the monster has adapted, he is comfortable in his surroundings, and much more competent than any human could be in these surroundings. The language used in this quote compares him with an animal, especially the word “bounded” which gives us the idea that the monster has a lot of animal in him still, despite the changes in his demeanour in comparison with chapter 5.
Though there is still a hint of animal in Shelley’s descriptions of the monster at this point his words and actions soon prove him to be of at least human intelligence. He quickly engages in conversation with Frankenstein, and shows the development of his reasoning powers. The reader is at first made to feel sorry for the monster. “I expected this reception,...all men hate the wretched; how then must I be hated, who is miserable beyond all living things.” Here the monster shows thought and perception. When he says that he expected the reaction he has just received from Frankenstein he shows the reader that he has put a lot of thought into what he is going to say, and also that he has learned from bitter experience what happens when humans see him. Despite this he has spent much of his time struggling to learn human speech and communication. This engenders a lot of sympathy from the reader at this point.
However the monster then uses his reasoning and physical abilities to threaten Frankenstein. He shows how well he understands human nature, and Frankenstein in particular by threatening his family rather than Frankenstein himself, showing that he knows how bad Frankenstein feels, and that he has barely any self-will or motivation left. He also understands that the only he can get to Frankenstein is through his family, which shows that the monster also understands love, and knows how to exploit it, which is the negative side of himself that the monster shows in this chapter. “...if you refuse, I will glut the maw of death until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends.” This quote shows the vengeful spirit the monster harbours, but also his longing for a companion to love, now that he understands this human emotion. The main emotion the monster seems to be feeling at the moment is loneliness. He has seen how humans interact and the pleasure they gain from each others company and he longs to have a real relationship with someone like himself.
Another factor in how the monster is perceived is Frankenstein’s reaction to him. This is still very negative but, unlike chapter 5, Frankenstein does actually converse with the monster and takes him seriously, beginning to view him as a person with feelings, motivation and reasoning, though he still believes that the monster is abhorrent and will not take responsibility for he wellbeing of the monster. “There can be no community between you and me; we are enemies.” This quote shows that although he has just heard the monster pledge eternal obedience if he will give him a companion to spend the remainder of his life with Frankenstein still cannot see past his own grief and vengefulness. This makes the reader again feel sorry for the monster, as they see how lonely he has become and how much he longs for his creator to acknowledge him as something more than an unfortunate accident.
The language used throughout this chapter is emotive, but the main feature of it is the contrasts it draws in many places. In the monster’s speech this is to show Frankenstein the benefits of giving the monster what he wants, and how horrifying the consequences will be if he doesn’t. “...mild and docile to my natural lord and king...” The language used in this quote is very soft showing the reader how the monster feels his duties towards his creator but is not given the opportunity to show them. This type of language also shows the reader a more gentle side to the monster which makes them more open to accept him and feel empathy towards him.
In the last chapter of the book; chapter 24 both Frankenstein and the monster say their final goodbyes. Frankenstein hopes to kill the monster even as he is upon his death bed, but his last words are self vindication of his actions towards the creature that he created. “I refused, and did right in refusing, to create a companion for the first creature.” This quote shows that Frankenstein believes that he has not neglected his creation. This makes the reader feel sorry for the monster, but also for Frankenstein, as his childhood dream ended up killing all that he held dear in the world.
As the monster prepares to kill himself he also looks back upon the life he has lived and how he has lived it. “You hate me, but your abhorrence cannot equal that with which I regard myself.” Here the monster is shown as a reformed character for whom the reader can feel pity. The difference in the monster in this chapter compared to other chapters is the self evaluation he exhibits. The monster also consummates his humanity by committing suicide, he has none of his animal self-preservation instincts left and is consumed by guilt. The monster is shown as a reformed character which the audience can feel pity for.
The language in this chapter is mainly concerned with the emotion that the monster and Frankenstein are enunciating. Words such as “passion”, “hatred”, “desire” and “wretchedness” are all used to show the reader how the characters are feeling. The effect of these words is to shock the reader into thinking about how the characters feel and to look at both sides of the story. The main use of the language in this chapter is to make the reader empathise with both characters and make up their minds as to the morals of each.
In conclusion, the reader begins by being shocked by, and scared of, the monster. However, later on in the story they realise that the behaviour of the monster in chapter 5 was mainly due to it reaching out for what it considered to be its father, in the same way that a child might do. In chapter 10 the monster is shown in quite a positive light, where the reader realises how human its emotions really are. But, by chapter 24, the monster has committed many horrible acts and this changes the readers opinion to a negative view until the monster explains his side of what happens, and as he finally ends his own life as a remorseful soul, the reader is made to pity him. This shows that the author has manipulated the reader’s feelings throughout the book, to change the way we see the monster.