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Look At The Significance Of Chapter Five To The Novel As A Whole.

927 words - 4 pages

Look at the significance of chapter five to the novel as a whole.
Focus on the relevance and effect of writer’s use of language to
describe setting and character and what it shows about social and
historical influences.

‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley is a complex horror novel that was
written during the age of Romanticism. It contains many themes common
to a Romantic novel such as death, tragedy, and loneliness. These
themes have all arrived through Mary Shelley’s background as the
events in this novel have been influenced greatly by her life. We can
see that this novel has been written as a warning to tell the reader
what the consequences are of playing with nature. This is highly
relevant to today as even now scientists feel they can experiment with
nature, for example, cloning. A highly crucial part of this novel is
Chapter five. It is where the story really begins as now Frankenstein
has reached his goal and realizes the horror of what he has done. This
essay will be discussing how chapter five is made so significant to
the novel and will look at why certain language is used to describe
setting and character and to see what this shows us about social and
historical influences.

From a very young age, Victor Frankenstein shows a clear interest in
science and in Chapter two of the novel Shelley focuses on Victors
desire to be a discoverer, when he declares, “It was the search of
heaven and earth that I desired to learn.” In this chapter it is clear
that Victor’s ambitions are entirely noble as all he wants is to help
mankind, which is also what Robert Walton wanted when discovering
unknown lands.

When we see two men like this who are clearly obsessed with discovery
it shows us how important the pursuit for knowledge was in the 19th
Century. Around the time that the novel was written scientists were
discussing the possibility of bringing the dead back to life. While
this was happening the general public were too very interested in all
of these developments and breakthroughs. In the first paragraph of
Chapter five Shelley has written, “infuse a spark of being into the
lifeless thing.” When saying this she is probably referring to
Galvanism. The idea behind this was that lightning produced
electricity, which could make muscles in an animal move. Therefore we
can tell that Shelley must have heard of such experiments before
writing her novel and then used these ideas in ‘Frankenstein’.

In Chapter five, however, Victor wakes up and “the beauty of the dream
vanished and breathless horror and disgust filled (his) heart.” Now
his character has completely changed as when his creation comes to
life he flees the monstrosity, “I rushed out of the room, and
continued a long time traversing my bedchamber.” This is ironic as he
is being terrified by something of his own creation. It is this part
in the novel where the reader may start to dislike Frankenstein...

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