An Analysis of Chapter Five of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' is an important novel in the history of
English literature, and the warning it poses is still relevant, with
science making many fictions become fact. This novel is about the
struggle of Dr. Frankenstein to create the perfect person and his
anguish when he realises he has created a monster. Chapter Five is a
pivotal point in the novel: all the chapters before were leading up to
the creation, and all the chapters after are as a result of the
creation. It is also a key chapter in the novel as it encapsulates
many of the features, characteristics and themes of the novel.
In Chapter Five the characters are described in detail giving an
accurate reflection of their personality. Dr. Frankenstein is very
tenacious in his toils. This is portrayed in the recollection of his
monsters' creation. He has worked for 'nearly two years,' showing the
long time scale over which he has laboured managing to stay focused
throughout. His perseverance is even more strongly represented when he
talks about the 'accomplishment of my toils.' It is an accomplishment
to have infused life however the use of the words 'toils' suggests he
has not enjoyed his work, emphasising how determined he has been to
labour on a project he dislikes. Frankenstein prioritised his work
over anything else, the quote, 'I had deprived myself of rest and
health,' is a good example of this. Creating like was so important to
Frankenstein he alienated himself, ostracising his family and fiancé.
During Chapter Five Frankenstein describes his emotions towards his
creation. Frankenstein is sarcastic when depicting his monster.
'Beautiful! Great God!' He expresses his revolt by using sarcasm as an
outlet for his anger and bitter disappointment.
Frankenstein is terrified by his creation; this is shown in the quote
'breathless horror filled my heart.' His heart has almost stopped
because of the shock he has suffered. Frankenstein is so terrified he
has become almost speechless, unable to communicate his feelings.
Frankenstein is horrified by his monster and haunted by nightmares for
example 'I was disturbed by the wildest dreams.' His nightmares are
terrifying, provoked by his monster, showing the depth of his
disturbance. In hallucinations Dr. Frankenstein dreams of his fiancée
Elizabethdying and becoming his dead mother, 'I held the corpse of my
dead mother.' Mary Shelley may have used this transformation as it
foreshadows future events. It is also a metaphor for Frankenstein and
Elizabeth's relationship dying, due to Frankenstein's preoccupation.
The use of dreams is significant because around this time people were
starting to explore the mind and many believed your dreams are your
inner thoughts. Mary Shelley is exploring this concept and...