Look at the significance of chapter five to the novella s a whole. Focus on the effect of the writer’s use of language to describe sittings and characters. How does this contribute to the gothic genre and what does it demonstrate about social and historical influences? Frankenstein or the “Morden Prometheus” was published in 1818 by the author Mary Shelley she became well know for the gothic horror Frankenstein. The key message of the novel that Mary Shelley is putting across to the reader is that people should not play God.
People started to become extremely terrified of the idea that life could be crated by mankind without a man, woman and God. Mary Shelley experienced a lot of misfortunes in her life as her family members died at a young age; this may have lead her to write this novel as it also has horrifying events, also she had a lot of knowledge about science. At that time science was very advancing meaning that the idea of creating became possible. Mary Shelley may have got the inspiration to create such a fascinating gothic horror novel from the misfortunes she experienced in her life and the advancing science at the time.
Shelley depicts Frankenstein as being adamant he wanted to create life. His obsession took the better of him, he neglected everything just to accomplish his dream. This is shocking to the reader. He thinks that he could crate life better than God. “I behelded the accomplishment of my toils” Shelley describes how Frankenstein is successful. This is playing God. Frankenstein on realising what he has done hubris runs away from the facts and abandoned his creation.
Frankenstein has committed hubris by going against God, Frankenstein will be punished for this wrenched act of creating life which is wrong, similar to Prometheus he was punished by the Gods for giving people more power than they were capable of handling and he was severely punished by the Gods for going against them. Linking the story to an ancient myth will increase the knowledge in the reader that hubris will be punished. In this novel chapter five is the most significant. The reason why, is because it holds the most important events that took place.
In this chapter the creation is bought to life. Frankenstein rejects him because of his appearance he imagined it to be beautiful. Instead it is the most hideous thing that Frankenstein has had ever imagined. Frankenstein regrets what he has done but he is unable to reverse in time to make things go back to normal. Mary Shelley foreshadows what will happen next Shelley has used “with the gloom of the surrounding comfortless sky”. The reader will feel pathos towards Frankenstein as he has caused his own misery, also anxious as they will be able to predict what will happen next.
Shelley uses descriptive language, she describes the monster as having “yellow skin”. Shelley writes this to create an image of the monster in the reader’s minds. The novel also compares the monster to a diseased person, it also is comparing the monster to a dead body a dead body is pale because it no blood flowing through it similarly to the monster as it is pale in real life. Shelley describes the monster this way so that the reader creates an ugly image of the monster in their minds. Mary Shelley uses descriptive language this helps to create fear and horror into the reader.
The quote refers to the historical and religious aspects of the 19th century. Frankenstein was the first monster story to be written. Most of the horror novels at the time were about ghosts, in that time many people believed in ghosts as it was a popular theme for books. Shelley was determined to make her novel successful and to do this she needed to frighten her audience. She was able to do this by using her imagination, creative ideas and descriptive language such as “yellow skinned”. In addition this quotation describes the horrific features of the creature that Frankenstein created.
Also yellow represented as the disease cholera which effected the people of the 19th century. Mary Shelley has used an expostulatory form throughout the novel. Shelley uses the point of view of Captain Walton who is the caption of the ship. Captain Walton helps Frankenstein onto his ship as Frankenstein is in terribly ill. Frankenstein tells the captain that he created a monster and how it killed all of his loved ones. Captain Walton writes to his sister about the story of Frankenstein and his creation this give the novel hindsight.
Mary Shelley opens Chapter Five with Pathetic Fallacy, “dreary nigh of November”. This is when mood reflects the weather. This suggests that it was dark and miserable night like the earth knows something is wrong. The settings show the hidden acts the weather feels sorrows for. Shelley has used descriptive language to begin the chapter this informs the reader that this chapter is going to be extremely emotional and that it is the most important chapter. Shelley has chosen her settings very carefully. Shelley uses a link between darkness and the month “November”.
This is because November is miserable and wintry. Mary Shelley describes what impact the creation has on Frankenstein. “For this I have deprived myself of health and rest”, this shows that Frankenstein has been deprived of sleep and must be physically and mentally tired. This links back to obsession as it shows he only cares about the creation and nothing else. As the creation is bought to life Frankenstein regrets creating it. This makes the reader feel bathos towards Frankenstein because he is the father of the monster as he is the one who created it. As soon as his creation is born Frankenstein abandons it.
The reader will feel pathos towards the monster as it was not his mistake that he is abandoned by his father as soon as he is created. Captain Walton feels sympathy towards Frankenstein, as he learns that all of Frankenstein’s loved ones have been killed. Captain Walton also begins to understand why Frankenstein is in this position. “That is also my victim! ‘ in his murder my crimes are consummated the miserable series of my being is wound to its close! ” the captain starts to feel sorry the monster, as he finds out that it has no one to care for him in the world except Frankenstein who already abandoned him.
“His voice seemed suffocated and my first impulse, which has suggested to me the duty of obeying the dying request of my friend. In destroying his enemy, were now suspended by a mixture of curiosity and compassion” by the end caption Walton has compassion for the monster perhaps showing the reader who we should feel. Shelley has put a lot of thought in to deciding on her settings in the novel. In the 19th century there was no electricity therefore they used candles the candle light effect would have been well known to her reader. Whilst in the laboratory, Victors “candle was nearly burned out”!
This quotation is telling the reader that Frankenstein’s life was very bright at the beginning of the novel as the novel continues there is less and less light in his life. As the light is fading away the reader will think that Frankenstein life is vanishing since he decided to deceive death. As light is fading it is bringing darkness to the setting which will frighten threaded as this is a mysterious colour? Shelley has used literary consciousness throughout the novel to show the reader that she being a woman in the 19th century still had a lot amount of knowledge.
Shelley has included Dantes “Inferno” and much more she is showing the reader that she has a lot of potential and has a lot understanding about science and literature. People at the time would not have thought that a woman could write such a novel which is very creative and advancing in science. Shelley is showing off as she has succeeded in creating a novel which is unique and as good as any man could write. Ultimately I think that Chapter Five is the most significant chapter Shelley has used many language techniques to describe characters and settings. This helps the reader to imagine the gothic horror genre.
Shelley committed herself to write this gothic horror novel as she was determined to make her reader interested in the first monster novel, people at the time only believed in ghosts and she has to put a great amount of effort to make the reader interested in the first monster novel. Shelley with a great imagination and wonderful techniques she made this story appealing to the reader. When someone loses their loved ones they feel that if they were able to bring them back they would but no one can cheat death. Frankenstein who tried to cheat death is punished.