Sympathy in Chapter 5 of Frankenstien Essay
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Sympathy is created through its speech, its action, and the mistreatment it suffers. Shelley ultimately shows how the Monster should be pitied, rather than criticised. We first see the Monster through the eyes of Robert Walton, who describes it as being “of gigantic stature”. This could arouse alarm rather than sympathy, and this alarm is reinforced when it is described in detail in chapter 5. Here, we find Victor call his creation a “catastrophe”, “wretch” and “miserable monster” . The Monster is hideous to look at and Victor feels he must run away to escape its clutches.
All of this seems to indicate that it is, in fact, a true monster, something to be feared and capable of great harm. But Shelley is only allowing us to see it from Victor’s biased point of view. When we hear the Monster’s story, a very different impression is created. The dehumanisation of the monster throughout chapter five enhances the reader’s thoughts and reflects sympathy. The description of his ‘shrivelled complexion’ creates a tense atmosphere that is continued to the extent where the monster has no entirety or soul.
He is the subject of a disastrous experiment and is non-ethical. The way in which Shelley explains the ‘deteriorated corpse’ creates great sympathy and creeps its way beneath you creating empathy. On the other hand the state of life which Victor is currently driving through, has immense pressure behind it and the illness that is upon him has taken over his body. He is no longer thinking straight and has become the victim of his own doing. His guilty conscious lingers upon him and ensures that he is unable to come back to reality.
The hard time which he endures is shadowed by the constant repetition of the loss of contact with his family which he depends upon so much. Victor cuts himself off from his friends and does not see his family for years. He becomes ill through work, not helped by visiting graveyards at night to dig up bodies he later experiments on. All this effort pays off, though, when he finally discovers a way to give life to dead objects. Victor manages to construct a creature made of huge body parts stolen from a number of different graves, and brings it to life ‘on a dreary night of November’.
He is immediately disgusted by it and what he has done. He abandons the creature, assuming it will die of neglect. Victor then falls further into illness himself, before being rescued by the arrival of Clerval, who looks after him in the following weeks. Throughout chapter 5 sympathy is persistently created for victor and his constantly dyeing hopes of ‘infusing life into an inanimate body’ and bringing hope back to those who have lost loved ones slips away. After 2 years of undeniable pain and heartache his ‘candle was nearly burnt out.
‘ Literally this quote accounts to the tiresome hours of which he devoted to creating life although metaphorically it explains how all energy and passion was drained and his body saturated of those uplifting memories. The language of which Mary Shelley uses to inflict sympathy and pain upon Frankenstein reflects the reader’s thoughts and feelings. To intensify Frankenstein’s horror and disgust, a range of techniques are utilised. These techniques in turn reflect the gothic genre to which the novel belongs. Pathetic Fallacy is used to great effect in the opening section.
The ‘dreary night of November’ is very good at setting the scene as we immediately see the poor weather conditions at the time. Also, there is an increased use of the personal pronoun ‘I’. This shows Frankenstein’s self absorption, because e constantly refers to himself, and the emotions HE is feeling at the time. Constant images are used to keep the gothic genre constant throughout. Such as the candle, nearly burn out near the windowpane, to which the rain was pattering dismally upon. There is also a very good use of contrasting sentence length.
Long descriptive complex sentences are used, as in the case of describing the monster, as well as shorter, less descriptive sentences, such as his reaction to the appearance of the monster. ‘Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. ‘ Frankenstein’s horror is again reflected in the dream he has on the night. In the dream, he depicts embracing Elizabeth, and suddenly, the corpse of his dead mother appears in her place. This dream reflects Frankenstein’s partially deluded state of mind, to which he is experiencing at the time.
In inference, I think that Mary Shelley intended for the sympathy of the reader to be evoked in favour of Frankenstein rather than his creation, but for the issue to be largely open-ended. I believe that when the novel was written, Frankenstein’s creation would have been feared rather than disliked particularly; but in today’s superficial society, it would be almost unanimously hated just for being different. However when assessing all the techniques used I feel that throughout chapter 5 the constant reference to how the Monsters freedom is undeniably and unnecessarily striped from his innocent complexion reflects great sympathy.
Although when inferring and shadowing the structure of how it is written it looks as though Mary Shelley wanted you to feel great sympathy for Victor I personally believe that both characters can be argued against there lack of injustice. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.