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Review Of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

2499 words - 10 pages

Review of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818. The
story tells the tale of Victor Frankenstein who creates a creature out
of different body parts. Somehow, the creature, who was created to be
'beautiful', turns out to be hideous. In fear, Frankenstein runs away
and the creation escapes. Once escaped, the creation and Frankenstein
both seek vengeance upon each other.

The story is written in 1st person narrative from three different
perspectives - the Sea Captain, Frankenstein and the Creation. We are
more likely to believe the story if three people tell it, from their
own points of view. It is hard enough to believe that someone is
creating a 'being' out of body parts, so if one person tells it it may
not be believable, but if three people tell it, more-or-less the same,
it will offer a more reliable account of events. The truth of the
story lies somewhere in between the stories, told by Frankenstein, the
Captain and the Creation; it is up to the audience to decide which
this is. The 1st person narrative is also used as a dramatic device,
as each person withholds information from the story. This creates
mystery at the start, then dramatic suspense and then dramatic irony,
allowing a variety of emotions to be experienced by the reader.

The novel begins with a series of letters which the Captain writes to
his sister, Mrs Saville. The letters set the scene of the novel and
also establish the mood, and create suspense.

In letter IV, the first line, 'So strange an accident has happened to
us that I cannot forbear recording it,' immediately brings the first
element of suspense into the novel, as it leaves the audience hanging,
and wondering what has happened. Therefore they must read on to find
out what has occurred. Mystery is introduced into the novel, by the
fact that the ship the Captain is writing from is 'nearly surrounded
by ice, which closed in the ship on all sides.' This sets the scene
and is a typical Gothic setting, as many Gothic Horror novels are set
in an isolated place, as this is. The Captain's ship is also
surrounded 'by a very thick fog' which further enhances the sense of
isolation, typical of Gothic novel settings. Mary Shelley uses words
such as 'surrounded', 'dangerous' and 'closed in' to enable the reader
to understand the situation the Captain and his men are in. The reader
knows that something is going to happen, but doesn't know what. This
adds to the mystery and tension that the novel has already placed upon
the reader. A sense of anticipation of possible disaster is
...

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