Tension And Dread In Chapter V

2485 words - 10 pages

How does Mary Shelley use elements of the Gothic in Chapter 5 to create an atmosphere of tension and dread?

Victor Frankenstein is an obsessed scientist who is trying to make a living human being out of dead body parts. He uses dead body parts because he had to get body parts from somewhere where nobody would find out because it was illegal. Therefore he got his body parts from criminals that had been hung. However not everything goes to plan, the Monster comes to life and tries to fit in with everybody else. He is kind to them and all he wants to do is make friends. Consequently when people see him, they see him to be a vicious monster that is going to hurt them, they don’t realise that all he wants to do is fit in. For example he lived in the woods in some stables for a while, he watched a family through a crack in the wall and learnt how to read, write and live like a human. One night the Monster went outside and spent all night picking all the potatoes for them. In the morning the family rushed outside and saw all the potatoes sitting in their wagon. Their first instinct was that it was a spirit that lived in the woods. They then left gifts for him outside to say thank you.

In Frankenstein, Shelley tried to show that a person is shaped by the way that they are treated and their environment. She wanted people to understand that Frankenstein’s monster was born like a baby, innocent and free, and she showed the reader in the novel that it was the way that he was treated that made him who he was. The way that the monster was created would have been seen as immoral by the reader, although he was clearly not evil to begin with, despite the way that he had been created. However the way that he appeared led people to believe that he was an evil creature. When he meets people they judge him on his appearance and he realises that he is not going to be accepted and that he is going to be alone. All he wants is to be accepted and loved and this is what causes him to do all the horrible things that he does. “Shelley uses Rousseau’s theory on the natural man, who is “born free and good but is corrupted by society”, to prove that nurture is the sole reason why the creature’s behaves like he does.

Mary Shelley was born in 1797; she is best remembered for her horror story Frankenstein which was published in 1818. Mary Shelley married the poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, in 1816 and went to live in Italy. In the summer of that year the Shelley’s visited Switzerland with their friends one of which was the poet Lord Byron. It rained so much that they decided to play a game to entertain them. They came up with the idea to write a ghost story. Mary went to bed and dreamed up the monster for her ghost story, she woke up, suddenly terrified after a dream. The dream became the story of Frankenstein which was published two years later. In 1822 Percy Shelley was drowned when his boat overturned in a storm near the coast of Italy. Mary Shelley was...

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