Throughout paragraphs 7-11 the narrator expresses feelings, thoughts and emotions into fine detail. “Every muscle and fibre was suspended” this doesn’t just say the hair was standing on his neck it goes into far more detail about it. The intended effect of this phrase is to show the fear in the story. The reader almost stops breathing and tenses themselves with Victor. “My steps were like those of a drunken man”, this is explaining his bid to follow the monster after it had killed Elizabeth but he couldn’t, this was all because of the thoughts going through his head.
The thoughts were making him so he couldn’t even walk properly, it was paranoia. The narrator continually describes his own feeling throughout this section; at times he uses rhetorical questions to get his emotions across, “Could I behold this and live? ” it doesn’t make you give an answer but it puts thoughts in your head of what Victor must have been feeling. Furthermore he shows his guilt for Elizabeth “My love, my wife, so lately living, so dear, so worthy”, this shows his love for Elizabeth not only was she his wife, she was a lot more than that, he also explains how good she was “so dear, so worthy”.
In addition the narrator describes how bad it felt to him and that the pain and the feeling could not be described; “the horror of others” appeared only as a mockery, a shadow of the feeling that oppressed me”. This is saying that the people that came to comfort him could not even come close to how he felt it was only a shadow of his feeling and that he felt they were mocking him because of it. “With a sensation of horror not to be described” also shows his true feelings could not be described.
He is desolate as shown by the words “the agony of despair”. Using the words like “agony” and “despair” give the chapter its atmosphere, the knowledge that something bad has happened and that you as the reader, and Victor are helpless to do anything about what has happened. Finally “I rushed towards her and embraced her with ardour, but the deadly languor and coldness of the limbs told me that what I now held in my arms had ceased to be the Elizabeth whom I had loved and cherished” This dialogue is a perfect example of the genre to this story.
The narrator mixes and contrasts detailed description and detailed feelings, which almost make it feel romantic and poetic but the words in her description give it the fear and terror which gives it the real gothic genre. 5th Para Many techniques Mary Shelley uses to build up the tension and suspense work in a great way. She uses short sentences in succession; “Great God! Why did I not then expire!
” This is a brilliant way to get feelings or ideas across to the reader. There is a quick snappy short sentence which gets you awake and alert then it is followed by a rhetorical question which once again makes you think. In this case it makes you why didn’t he do it a different way. The narrator puts in numerous rhetorical questions to show the emotion of how he (Victor) is feeling; “Why should I dwell upon the incidents that followed this last overwhelming event?
” Once again this isn’t getting you to answer the question but it is making you feel almost sorry for Victor in that Elizabeth has died but also the pain and hurt he has gone through he shouldn’t be dwelling upon it. It seems like he is asking for the sympathy vote. Mary Shelley uses another technique in her writing, varying her length of sentences e. g. constructive sentences. The impact of this is to raise tension with the reader – to build up with longer sentences then to shock them with the short sharp sentences: “great God! ”
With the subordinate clause she puts in it gives the extra detail, “We walked for a short time on the shore, enjoying the transitory light, and then retired to the inn”, the sentence still would have been perfectly fine without the “enjoying the transitory light” but that subordinate clause, once again gives it that extra detail. Furthermore Mary Shelley uses flashback; “I saw scenes that were familiar to me in my happier time”, to gain empathy from the reader, to show the contrasts between Victor’s feelings yesterday and today.
The writing in chapter 23 is particularly effective in creating an atmosphere of tension, fear and horror: Mary Shelley uses a variety of English, including techniques such as varying sentence length, pathetic fallacy, personification and repetition to build a link with her characters and to draw the reader into their minds and feelings. Anger, anxiety, fear, terror, agitation and love are all emotions Victor, Elizabeth and the reader feel through the vocabulary and sentence construction Mary Shelley applies.