Analysis of the Creation Scene from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 Film Version
One of the key themes in Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ is human
arrogance. Frankenstein’s curiosity leads him to play the role of God.
In a way Frankenstein is responsible for the monster and has
ultimately become a father figure to the monster. Frankenstein
abandoning the monster leads up to it turning evil and looking for
revenge. Therefore, parenting is another theme in the novel. The
nature of beauty is another theme. Frankenstein abandons the monster
because he did not turn out as good looking as he had intended. The
best features were chosen to make Frankenstein’s monster but
ironically the monster turned out ugly.
The ‘creation scene’ is presented in a typically ‘Gothic’ way and
Shelly exploits the gothic traditions that had already, to some
extent, been established in 1818. Her setting is classic of the genre
as her setting is very hellish. The candles, coffins and dreary night
are commonly used for this genre. Her use of archaic language gives us
the classic gothic feeling. Language like “demonical corpse”,
“convulsed” “grave-worms”. The archaic language is also a good use of
graphic imagery, which again is classically used in this type of
genre. Shelley also uses hyperbolic language. She seems to over
exaggerate a lot of things in this scene. For example, she uses
repetition and exclamation marks to show how shocked Frankenstein was
when he first saw the monster: “beautiful. Beautiful! - Great God!”.
The capital letters also show us the shock. Frankenstein is over
Shelley uses false collocations to contrast evil and good. Words that
would not normally go together are put together:
“Horror and disgust filled my heart”
Usually the phrase is ‘hope and joy filled my heart’ but Shelley is
playing with the words to juxtapose joy and horror. The “heart” is
used symbolically. It symbolises love and patriotism but in this
context it symbolises the life and death of the monster.
Likewise, we see Shelley using other techniques to juxtapose the good
and the bad. Shelley contradicts herself several times during this
scene. Her description of the monster differs between good and bad
“his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of pearly
“his watery eyes, that seemed almost the same colour as the dun-white
sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight
It seems as though Shelley is...