Tales Within Tales Within Tales ‘What Devices And Techniques Does Mary Shelley Use To Make Frankenstein Such An Engaging Story?’

1183 words - 5 pages

Mary Shelley was an extremely talented writer who used many different techniques to make Frankenstein so engaging. Her most notable tool was how she managed to entwine stories within each other. Other books may do this once in their story but Mary Shelley repeatedly does it allowing us to see the story in other peoples perspectives.

This technique is introduced at the beginning of the book when Robert Walton begins to tell us the tale of a mysterious man who they found wandering on the ice searching for what he describes as a daemon; this is done through letters to his sister. This intrigues the reader from the beginning and almost tempting us to read on and discover how this strange man, who we soon found to be Victor Frankenstein, found himself on the ice hunting a creature he created. Once the letters end we begin the tale being told by Frankenstein. He describes his childhood with an extense of detail before explaining why and how he created the monster. Once the monster has become animated and is living Frankenstein becomes horrified at what he had once called beautiful and flees his apartment. In the morning he comes across his friend henry Clerval and invites him back to his apartment. When they enter there is no sigh of the creature but he soon falls ill with nervous fever. Henry nurses him to health and after a few months when Frankenstein has recovered, gives him a letter that arrived from Frankenstein’s sister Elizabeth during his illness. This adds another viewpoint as the letter explains what has been happening at home while Frankenstein has been away, including gossip of his previous neighbours and acquaintances. She also explains the story of a girl named Justine who is now living with them. As the story continues on its told in more perspectives for example the monsters, who then tells us the story of the cottagers he was living with without their knowledge. Mary Shelley uses this technique constantly within the book and it makes us feel empathise and sympathise for each character in different ways. This makes us unable to categorise them as good or bad because each of them are a little bit of both.

This use of making the reader feel empathy and sympathy for the characters is another technique that Mary Shelley used. For example the reader at first is not so sure what to think of the monster but once he explains his story you feel sorry for him as essentially he’s a child whose farther turned him away in disgust.

‘I am an unfortunate and deserted creature, I look around and I have no relation or friend upon this earth.’

The monster says this to the blind man in chapter 15 making the reader realise just how alone the creature is and how little he knows of happiness and content. Though this does make us understand why the monster acts in some ways and it justifies some actions that the monster took as he wasn’t taught right for wrong. Its not surprising that the monster behaved the way he did, as he’s really just a large...

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