The rain was again pouring and the mountains were hidden with “thick mists”. Here, the weather actually heralds the survival of the monster. Romanticism is also evident in chapter five in the extract of Coleridge’s “Ancient Mariner”. This extract almost perfectly describes Victor’s situation. Victor feels that the “frightful fiend” treads close behind him, and he also feels as if he’s on a “lonesome road”. I feel that Mary Shelley is trying to say that Victor and the Ancient Mariner are both defying God through their actions; they’re disturbing the natural order of the world.
I think that with this extract Mary Shelley is trying to say that nobody’s perfect and what little faith she has in perfection-whether it’s the perfection of a monster or the perfection of a man. Victor is therefore no better than the monster. This poetry extract is linked with the extract that Mary Shelley included from Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey” in chapter eighteen.
This is another typical Romantic extract. It reflects Victor’s thoughts and feelings on seeing Henry Clerval again. Just like in the poem, Victor is feeling replenished, and even sees the gloomiest things in like as, “An appetite, a feeling, and a love”.
It also reflects Victor’s love for nature, which is often what romanticism is about. Chapter five is also particularly significant because it gives us a deeper insight into the character of Victor Frankenstein. We see his inability to describe emotions and also his inability to describe his thoughts.
He says, “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe? ” Victor doesn’t seem to have a sufficient vocabulary to describe what’s going on around him, but I think it’s more than that. What’s going on around him is so terrifying and unreal that words can’t describe them.
We see this again in chapter ten when Victor sees the Monster coming towards him after departing Geneva. Here, he’s so horrified he’s again unable to speak, and this leads to him being unable to cope. We see how much ambition Victor has in chapter five. Victor had a huge thirst for knowledge, and wanted to know everything. We first see this in chapter two where he says, “It was the secrets of heaven that I desired to learn”. Here we see the extremities of his ambition; he yearns to know what nobody else does. Chapter five sees the result of this ambition: The Monster.
Victor has now done something that seemingly nobody has done before-he’s created a monster. Here we see the danger of ambition; just because Victor’s achieved his original goal, it doesn’t mean that he’s any better off. His ambition later leads to the death of his loved ones and himself towards the end of the novel, after all. Victor can’t seem to face up to what he’s done; he can’t take responsibility for the beast that he’s created. He sees himself as the victim in the situation, describing the Monster’s awakening as, “the tumult I had before endured”.
Later on when the Monster has left, whilst talking to Henry Clerval, Victor describes himself as “length free”. This also shows his inability to face up to the consequences of his actions. This continues throughout the novel. Even though Victor states in chapter nine that he began with, “benevolent intentions”, he doesn’t seem to continue these. He also says that he was, “seized by remorse and the sense of guilt”. Although we see here that Victor’s realised and accepted what he’s done and feels sympathy for Justine, we wonder why he didn’t do anything to act on this feeling.
We also see how Victor attempts to run away in an attempt to conquer his emotions. His way of coping is not to return to his own apartment. This makes things worse for him-if he doesn’t think about his experiences and blocks them from memory, how’s he going to move on? This again shows his lack of responsibility. As a result of Victor’s behaviour in chapter five, many other people are hurt throughout the novel. Because Victor abandoned the Monster, William died, Justine was sent to prison and Elizabeth and Clerval were murdered. Victor’s father too died of grief.
Victor still doesn’t take responsibility, though; he doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend that ultimately it’s entirely his fault. We also see a lot of how unstable Victor is in chapter five. We see this when he says that he, “jumped over the chairs, clapped my hands and laughed aloud” at the presence of Henry Clerval, his “cold shivering” when he fears the Monster and the dream that he has where Elizabeth turns into his dead mother-a “daemonical corpse”. This shows how much the arrival of the Monster has affected Victor and how it’s changed him. We go on to see his instability throughout the novel.
In chapter six, Victor says that he felt that, “the sight of a chemical instrument would renew all of the agony of my nervous symptoms” which confirms his original instability. In chapter eight, we actually see the Monster within Victor as he, “gnashed my teeth and ground them together, uttering a groan that came from my inmost soul”. This isn’t the ordinary actions of a sane man. Victor later goes on to say that he “wandered like an evil spirit”. This is all as a result of the events of chapter five; if the Monster had never come to life, Victor’s mental health would have remained stable.
Chapter five is extremely significant because it’s in chapter five that the Monster actually comes to life. The Monster is introduced to us as being extremely frightful, and the atmosphere (“rain pattered dismally against the panes”) adds to this image. The Monster transforms from a, “lifeless thing” to a monster with a, “dull yellow eye” that opens slowly. He breathes hard, has, “straight black lips” and his skin, “scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath”. It’s as a result of the Monster’s nightmarish appearance that Victor rejects him in chapter five.
If the Monster had looked like an ordinary human being, Victor may have embraced him and possibly made more like him. Because of his appearance, the Monster is constantly rejected throughout the novel. When Felix, Safie, Agatha and the old man first see the Monster in chapter sixteen, they are terrified of him. Agatha faints and Safie rushes out of the cottage. Felix then pushes the Monster to the ground and begins beating him vigorously with a stick. This is all because of the way he looks; the Monster hadn’t even spoken. This reveals that at the start of the 19th century, people weren’t supposed to be different.
The general public was scared of difference and what they weren’t used to. If somebody was different, they were instantly rejected and pushed aside. To be accepted, you had to fit in. The monster’s character is explored in this chapter. We see how the Monster first approaches Victor. When he does, his eyes were fixed on Victor, a grin, “wrinkled his cheeks”, he attempted to speak and he stretched out his hand. Victor assumes that the Monster does this to detain him. We as the reader assume this, too, because of the frightening way that Victor describes him.
As the novel goes on, though, we realise that this may not be the case. His attempted words could have been a greeting. His grin could have been a friendly grin as opposed to an evil one. His outstretched arm could have been the Monster stretching out for Victor to attempt to help him, or even for Victor to shake his hand. We only feel discontent for the Monster (especially at the beginning of the novel) though, because of the way that Victor describes him. For one, Victor describes him as, “the Monster” instead of naming him.
This immediately puts across a negative image of him. Throughout the novel, Victor continues to describe the monster in a menacing way: in chapter five it’s, “daemonical corpse”; in chapter ten he’s described as, “superhuman”; and in chapter six we see Victor’s view on the Monster’s creation described as, “the fatal night, the end of my labours, the beginning of my misfortunes”. This gives us as the reader an incredibly negative view of the Monster. In his fourth letter, Walton says that he only referred to the monster as “daemon” because Victor did.
If Victor had given the Monster a fair chance and described him in a more benevolent way in chapter five, we would feel totally different about him over the rest of the novel. The moon is symbolic throughout the novel, but it’s evident for the first time in chapter five. After Victor awakes from his dream and beholds the Monster, he witnesses the Monster force his way through the window shutters by the, “dim yellow light of the moon”. This is the first of many references linking the Monster and the moon. Throughout the novel the moon is apparent to create tension as we expect the Monster to arrive.
For example, in chapter twenty-four, when Victor is seeking revenge on the Monster, he says, “suddenly the broad disk of the moon arose and shone full upon his ghastly and distorted shape”. At this point, the Monster flees. I also think that the moon may have been related to the Monster’s first description. The first description of the Monster was his, “dull yellow eye” and the moon’s first description was, “the dim and yellow light of the moon”. I think that this proves that Mary Shelley wanted the Monster and the moon to be linked in the novel. We see Victor’s dreams play a vital part in chapter five.
We firstly see Victor’s living dreams-what he strives for. In chapter two we’d seen that Victor wanted to create the Monster for glory; he says, “What glory would attend the discovery if I could banish disease from the human frame! ” Here we see that Victor was driven by glory and ambition; he longed for recognition. Just after the Monster comes to life in chapter five, however, everything changes as Victor realises that he wouldn’t achieve what he’d originally hoped. Victor says that, “The beauty of the dream had vanished, and the breathless horror and disgust filled my heart”.
Here we see that Victor’s dream now has in fact turned into a nightmare. The dream has come up against reality, and reality has won. We see more of how Victor’s dream has turned bitter when Victor attempted to sleep, “endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness”. In his dreams he sees Elizabeth, he embraces and kisses her, but she then turns into the corpse of his dead mother. As Victor wakes up, terrified, he sees the Monster. Here we see that Victor’s dreams are actually a premonition of what will eventually happen. When Victor describes his dream, the language he uses is grave and gothic.
Many of the words and phrases he uses are linked with death. “Grave worms” and, “shroud”, and, “livid with the hue of death” are examples of this. This gives the reader an insight into how awful Victor’s dreams really are. After the events of chapter five, we see other examples of Victor’s dreams versus Victor’s reality. In chapter twenty-four, we see how Victor uses his dreams as a way of escaping from his real-life nightmare. In his dreams, he saw his friends, his wife, his father, his country and his youth. Victor says, “During the day I was sustained and inspired by the hope of night”.