Frankenstein’s obsession Essay
In chapter 5 Frankenstein abandons the creature he created and his actions have a big impact on the rest of the story. The monster is left on his own to deal with fear and loneliness. He also has to deal with the humanity, who judge him on his appearance and as a result do not welcome him. Shelley’s message to her readers could be that, we should all take responsibility for everything that we do. And that we should not judge things of they’re appearance.
When Frankenstein sees his friend Henry Clerval, he asks about his family and we can see that he is worried. The lines ”It gives me the greatest delight to see you; but tell me how you left my father, brothers, and Elizabeth” shows that Frankenstein cares about his family and that he is worried about them. The fact that he is worried is significant because later on in the novel his family is going to be in danger, which worries Frankenstein even more.
In chapter 5 we might feel sympathy for Frankenstein, when he shows confusion by saying:” How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?”. Shelley could have used this rhetorical question to make us feel sympathy for Frankenstein. The readers understand that Frankenstein is finding it hard to deal with emotions as he is experiencing the rhetorical question emphasizes his confusion.
Frankenstein has waited nearly two years for this moment, we know this because he says: ”I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body.” Evidently he was very passionate about what he was doing and we partly feel sorry for him because he was unhappy with what he had done. However Shelley draws use also to feel sympathy for the monster, when he tells his story, further in the novel. We feel more sympathy towards the monster because, he was left all alone and it was actually Frankenstein’s fault. The monster didn’t do anything wrong, but Frankenstein judged him for the way he looked and left him.
One of the most important moments is when Frankenstein says:” I stepped fearfully in: the apartment was empty and my bedroom was also freed from its hideous guest. I could hardly believe that so great a good fortune could have befallen me, but when I became assured that my enemy had indeed fled, I clapped my hands for joy and ran down to Clerval.” Frankenstein announces the monster has left which he is overjoyed with; this is ironic because the monster has not gone for good! He will return and look for revenge. The monster is just like a child because if Frankenstein had brought him up and showed him love the monster might not have become a killer.
In chapter 5 Frankenstein’s obsession is shown very well. He does not think about anything but his work. We can see this when he says:” For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that for exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” Shelley uses strong words, to emphasize Frankenstein’s obsession. Shelley suggests that if you desire something so badly and it doesn’t work about to be the way you had expected it; this will be very hard for you to accept.
When Frankenstein says:” He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs.” we see his cowardice. Frankenstein is scared that the monster will kill him and he tries to get away, after he has ‘escaped’ the monster, we can guess that he is proud of escaping the creature. In the lines:” I then paused, and a cold shivering came over me.
I threw the door forcibly open as children are accustomed to do when they expect a spectre to stand in waiting for them on the other side; but nothing appeared.” We see that Frankenstein compares himself with children; Shelley could have used this simile to emphasise the fact that Frankenstein is trying to get rid of his responsibilities. In chapter 5 we also see that Frankenstein is a very selfish man and that he only thinks about himself. We can see this selfishness in the relieve he shows when he finds out that the monster has left. Without thinking about where the monster might have gone, he says:” I could hardly believe that so great a good fortune could have befallen me”.
Shelley uses pathetic fallacy in her novel as the weather reflects the mood of Frankenstein. She starts the chapter with:” It was on a dreary night of November”, the weather emphasises Frankenstein’s disgust, fear and depression. He is also talking about a ”comfortless sky”, this could emphasise the fact that Frankenstein has no one to comfort him. At the end of chapter 5 Shelley uses pathetic fallacy again.
We can see that when Frankenstein says:” It was a divine spring, and the season contributed greatly to my convalescence”. Frankenstein feels like he started a new life, because it’s spring. We can guess that Shelley has used the season cycle to emphasise that, even though Frankenstein thinks he is being given another chance and he can start a new life in spring, the winter will come back and so will the monster.
Chapter 5 shows us the obsession that a lot of people could have to create life. Even thought we try so hard we would never be able to make something as beautiful as god can. Frankenstein says:” it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” This is ironic because god is the one who gives life. We can assume that Shelley used irony here to emphasise the hate and disgust Frankenstein has. The contrast between God and Dante, winter and spring emphasize the fact good and evil will be a contrast throughout the novel.
There is a lot of loneliness shown in Chapter 5, until Clerval comes. Frankenstein is very pleased with finally having someone around. We can see this when he says:” But I was in reality very ill, and surely nothing but the unbounded and unremitting attentions of my friend could have restored me to life.” In this chapter we have learned that in the nineteenth century people were very religious and even though they believed that you couldn’t play god, they were very interested in science, creating of life and things like that. We also know that this novel was very popular in the nineteenth century, because there was no entertainment such as televisions and theatres. This novel was also popular because people those days were interested in horrific images and unnatural ideas.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 10 November 2017
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