Comparing And Contrasting Chapters 5 And 11 16 In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1660 words - 7 pages

Mary Shelley wrote Frankestein when she was 18, in 1816 but it was published in 1818. Frankenstein is about a man, Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with science and who learns how to create life and creates a being in the likeness of man. The being is referred to as ‘the creation’ or just Frankenstein. Mary Shelley was married to Percy Bysshe Shelley who was a Romantic Poet and a great philosopher. In this essay I’ll be comparing and contrasting chapters 5 and 11 – 16 and exploring the language and structure and I will comment on Mary Shelley’s themes. Mary Shelley uses three narrators to convey her story – Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein and the being itself. She uses so many narrators to sympathise with the story and to show different aspects and each view of the story. Victor Frankenstein narrates the story in chapter 5 and is Narrator 2. In chapter 5 Victor sees his creation come to life. At first, Victor thinks that his idea worked. But then, he is horrified that he created this monster and so he runs away. His friend, Henry Clerval, takes care of him when he becomes sick and has a fever for months.
In chapter 5, Victor Frankenstein is the narrator and Victor is very obsessed with his creation and the science. He doesn’t eat, sleep or talk to anyone for days and the monster now begins to take shape, and Victor describes his creation in full detail as ‘beautiful yet repulsive’ with his ‘yellow skin’, ‘lustrous black, and flowing’ hair, and teeth of ‘pearly whiteness.’ Victor describes the monster's eyes, considered the windows upon the soul, as ‘watery eyes, that seemed almost the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.’ Here Shelley contrasts God's creation of Adam to Victor's creation of the monster. Victor sees his creation as beautiful and yet repugnant, versus the creation story taken from the Bible in which God sees his creation of Adam as ‘good’. The Gothic elements that can be found in this chapter are the grotesque description of the monster's features, the eerie environment (Victor's lab at 1 a.m.), and some type of psychic communication (Victor's feeling of being followed). Also, this chapter builds fear in the reader, another big part of Gothic writing. The monsters actions are slow and juvenile. ‘His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds.’ This suggests that Victor would have felt threatened against the monster because the monster is presenting itself as strong and troublesome. Victor would have felt danger against this monster as he just created it but does not know what it is capable of. This is why when the monster stretches his hand out, Victor Frankenstein runs away downstairs. ‘One hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs.’ Victor, at this point, might have felt scared and irresponsible that he can’t face up to his own actions. He would...

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