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It is as if Shelley is trying to put across her own personal experiences: as though she felt that she had failed her children whom sadly passed away soon after birth. Shelley’s structure of Frankenstein is very different to that of a ‘normal’ novel. Shelley uses layering extremely effectively beginning near the end of the story where Victor’s death is imminent. I believe she does this to add a sense of the reader unravelling a mysterious myth. Shelley uses three narrators in her novel. There is Captain Walton: who begins and ends the story.
Frankenstein along with the monster each tells their version of events. I think this interests Shelley’s readers; with narrating the novel this way the readers most interested in the emotional truth rather than the facts. Shelley begins and ends her novel with Captain Walton to frame his text, with an objective voice; which the reader is able to relate to. Shelley tries to portray Walton’s actions throughout his narrative as the ‘right’ within the story. He realises the danger in his ambition and the extreme consequences desire and obsession could result in; using Victor’s ambition as an example.
Shelley tries to show how people should learn from others mistakes. It is clear to see the changes in the objectives intentions because he has seen the outcome of Victor’s ambition; therefore he abandons his own in hope he does not meet a tragic end like Victor. Frankenstein can be referred to as a Gothic novel. Gothic novels have a strong plot of supernatural occurrences often there to evoke terror to the reader. The main protagonist usually has an egocentrical nature. Within Frankenstein isolation of the two main characters is portrayed by nature.
The glacial Alps and the frosty arctic do this. Shelley uses recent discoveries of her time to create her novel. She uses the new discovery of electricity (which its concepts lead to the galvanisation process which was said to be the key to instigating life) it is this that animates the monster. Chapter 5 is the chapter where Frankenstein describes the night on which his creation first drew breath. The chapter then moves to Victor meeting his good friend Henry Clerval, who sees the poor state Victor is in: Henry nurses Victor through his downfall.
There are a lot of themes which run parallel in this chapter two of them being prejudice and regret. Both themes are portrayed by Victor Frankenstein in conjunction to his creation. Victor is sickened by the ‘lifeless thing’ which he had created. He describes the monsters features as ‘beautiful’ however immediately after he contradicts himself realising he could not be more wrong. It is as if Shelley is implying that he has overcome his obsession: with fear which now filled his body. Frankenstein portrays his fear by fleeing from the ‘yellow skinned’ ‘catastrophe’ twice.
One flee occurs as the being first draws breath, Victor is in denial of his ‘son’ and does not wish to take responsibility for him. His fear is due to his prejudice thoughts; he believed that because his creation looked ‘evil’ he thought the monster would automatically be like that on the inside. Frankensteins second exit of his creation occurred that very same night. Victor awoke and ‘beheld the wretch’ and then ‘escaped and rushed downstairs’: this shows Victors fear and regret towards the monster. Shelley’s use of language in chapter 5 is very effective.
Shelley creates a setting that is gloomy and miserable. She does this by using phrases such as ‘morning dismal and wet’ and ‘black and comfortless sky’ to emphasise what could be argued as a hidden message. It is as is if Shelley is portraying Victor’s emotion in her setting the scene. It could be argued that Shelley wishes to show the correlation between the two. Chapter 11 consists of many important events for the monster. It consists of him discovering his senses, being onslaughted by villagers and him coming into contact with his first feeling of happiness(when he sees the DeLacey family).
When he first discovers his senses ‘I saw, felt, heard and smelt’ it is as if Shelley wishes for the reader to sympathise with him as if he were a baby, beginning to understand the capability and functions of different parts of himself. Also there is the brutal attack in which the monster is badly injured. ‘Some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons’ This particular part of the novel portrays the theme of prejudice. As soon as the villagers see the monster they automatically assume him to be a danger to them.
It could be argued that Shelley is trying to unearth the hidden truth behind prejudice in the world. It is as if she is trying to portray a strong opinion of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. In Shelley’s case ‘don’t judge the monster by his looks’. The monster in this chapter learns that love is all he longs for. He learns of this from watching the DeLacey family ‘Did not put a stop to the pleasure I experienced in watching my human neighbours’ It is also as if from this statement that he does not class himself as human, as though it is ‘him’ and ‘them’ instead of ‘us’.
In comparison to chapter 5 they both pose correlation to the weather and emotion. In chapter 5 Victor is feeling dismal and gloomy caused by his disappointment. Shelley in correlation to this uses phrases such as ‘the rain pattered dismally’ and ‘comfortless sky’ to show the link between the two. Shelley uses this throughout chapter 11 also. The monster is feeling alone, cold and frightened. The fact that he describes how ‘darkness’ came over him with the ‘bright moon’ being his only companion also refers to this.
Another similarity in the chapters is the use of the word ‘wretch’. Victor uses this particular name to describe his creation ‘I beheld the wretch- the miserable monster’. The monster also uses this to describe himself. I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch’ it is as if Shelley is trying to imply how two characters whom appear so different can think the same thing. It could be argued that Shelley’s novel is like a science experiment: not just a tale of science. The monster could be the oil and Frankenstein the water. The two although similar do not mix.
It is not until the emulsifier is added (Walton) that the two’s repelling ways begin to stop, and both sides (of the story) can be mixed. It is as if the oil and water portray good and evil although no-body knows which the evil was: was it Victor’s ambition or the prejudice which forced the monster into his actions. Mary Shelley enables the readers the chance to hear both points of view in order for them to have a clear understanding of the story. Without both sides the novel would obviously be biased with an inevitable outcome, no tension, and absolutely no emotional relations for the reader to empathise with.
The novel entices the reader because of its argument enabling the reader to conjure their own conclusion whilst learning new facts which may change what they think. It is a good way to involve the readers’ imagination. In conclusion to my essay I have found that Shelley’s choice of structure, plot and narrative are very good choices and are extremely effective when it comes to the reader empathising with individual characters. Within Shelley’s novel she uses effective vocabulary to entice the reader and provide them with messages relevant to life as a whole.
One extremely effective message is that from Victor. ‘Learn from my miseries and do not seek to increase your own’ it is as if Shelley wishes for the reader to relate to him. Shelley wants her readers to do exactly what she penned about Victor. ‘Obsession gets you nowhere its desire for love that’s strongest’ Hayley Anstee 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.