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Analysis Of Methods Used By Mary Shelley In Chapter Five Of ‘Frankenstein’ And Its Significance To The Novel As A Whole

2155 words - 9 pages

‘Frankenstein’ was written by Mary Shelley and was published in 1818, when she was only 19 years old. It was published anonymously and was thought to have been written by Percy Shelley as it contained conventions similar to those in his poetry. ‘Frankenstein’ is a gothic horror novel and along with Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, is one of the best known and most widely read horror novel of all time. It continues to be read and is thought to be ‘more relevant now than ever’, due to the rapid advances in science and technology.
The plot is about Victor Frankenstein, whose obsession with fame, knowledge and creating life leads him to create a creature form dead body parts. The monster, who is hideous in appearance, is then rejected by society and seeks revenge. This links to the 19th century, as it was named the time of scientific discovery. Experiments were carried out of reanimating frogs using electricity. This idea scared people as they were afraid of what could be achieved by ‘playing God’.
Chapter 5 is a very significant point in the novel. This is when the creature is created and comes to life. Throughout this chapter Victor’s feelings are explored in great depth and the reader becomes aware of Victors thoughts towards the creature he spent so long trying to create. Mary Shelley uses a range of methods to convey a sense of horror throughout the chapter as a whole.
The opening paragraph begins with a detailed description of Victor’s attic and workplace. Immediately Mary Shelley uses the technique of pathetic fallacy as she describes the weather as ‘a dreary night of November’ and continues to use this technique throughout, ‘the rain pattered dismally against the panes’. This creates a dark, dreary and negative atmosphere. The description of the weather is not that of what is expected of a usual horror novel. The usual weather conventions of a horror novel would be dramatic, such as thunder, lightening and thrashing rain. This reflects Victor’s feelings, as he is exhausted and he has realised that his creation doesn’t match up to his expectations.
The opening paragraph is written in first person narrative. It is written in the form of a diary, so that it gives the reader a deep view into the thoughts of Victor. The diary is written in a similar way to a scientific journal and the lexical choices correspond to the semantic field of science, such as ‘the instruments of life’, which combines connotations of science and religion. This shows Victor’s unemotional and clinical approach to the life he has just created. This contrasts to his emotions when he was attempting to create life, when he thought that he would love his creation and be like a father to it. However, because of the deep insight into Victors mind the reader is able to connect with Victor and feel sympathy for him.
The sense of Victor’s exhaustion is conveyed to the reader through the use of language. The quotation ‘my candle was nearly burnt out’ conveys how exhausted...

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