Analysis of Volume 1 Chapter 5 of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
This passage is set at a point in the story where Dr. Victor
Frankenstein is creating and making his first descriptions of the
monster. Frankenstein at this time has been driven to work more and
more to complete his aim, making him seem madly obsessed with his
During this passage, the Dr. and the monster are constantly described
in the same ways,
“how delineate the wretch”: the monster
“I passed the night wretchedly”: Frankenstein
This could show how the monster is being conveyed as the Dr’s
doppelganger, of the reflection of his subconscious. Frankenstein,
later in the book thinks, when the monster says “I shall be with you
on your wedding night”, that this is a threat to him, which it isn’t.
This quote can be linked to the legend of the doppelganger, which is
that if you have a doppelganger, then you must kill it before it kills
you. The dream Frankenstein experiences in this chapter could also be
seen as a representation of the Doctor’s subconscious. One could
interpret this as the guilt that Frankenstein felt about the love
between him and Elizabeth, as their love was not morally right.
This section of “Frankenstein” shows us how Dr Frankenstein usurps the
role of women by creating life or giving life to an inanimate object.
It shows this with an abundance of natal diction and birthing imagery.
“how delineate the wretch whom with such
infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form”
Here, Frankenstein is saying that, after all the time he has spent
planning and creating the creature, he finds it ugly and pitiful.
This links in to the myth that when all mothers give birth, they are
at first disappointed with their baby, because it is so ugly and
wrinkled, which is not what they expect.
“I saw the dull eye of the creature open”
This passage constantly shows the bathos of the commotion Victor
Frankenstein has made over the making of his creature, like in the
quote, where he, instead of saying how dazzling the eyes could have
looked, defiles the ‘monster’ and says that its eyes were a...