The novel Frankenstein Essay
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This is a long sentence that helps to build up tension, which helps create drama and atmosphere. The long sentence makes you, the reader run out of breath physically and this is to feel and give you an idea about his nervousness now that he has created this monster. When Victor wakes up he finds the creature standing over him, he is not threatening, ‘a grin wrinkled his cheeks’, but Victor is repulsed by what he sees and runs away. It is here that the reader realises that the creature was not created to be evil but is rejected by Victor when he only wanted to be accepted.
The next day brings no hope for Victor. The sky is ‘comfortless’ and the weather is ‘dismal’ and ‘wet’. Victor is dreading meeting the creature and the weather reflects his despair. Mary Shelly makes the opening paragraph powerful by using commas to separate the words. Victor begins to walk the streets where he feels haunted by a ‘nameless horror’ and Mary Shelly builds up the suspense – ‘I did not dare to return to the apartment’, ‘felt impelled to hurry on,’ and again the weather reflecting the mood, ‘drenched by the rain which poured from a black and comfortless sky’.
Mary Shelly also uses a lot of imagery e. g. the ‘white steeple clock’ and the court as an ‘asylum’. The references to black in this section symbolise the gothic connection. To enhance the feeling of pursuit between creator and creation Mary Shelly uses some lines from the Ancient Mariner: – ‘Like one who, on a lonely road, Doth walk in fear and dread, And, having once turned round, walks on, And turns no more his head; because he knows a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread. ‘ This poem is recited as Victor is walking.
It continues to help build suspense and Mary Shelly describes Victors walking as ‘hurried’ and with ‘irregular steps’ like a caged animal and suggesting something bad is going to happen. The next event is Clerval, Victor’s friend arriving. He had come to see his friend and to enrol at the university. This completely changes the mood Victor James Duckworth 10XB Coursework says ‘nothing could equal my delight on seeing Clerval’ who brings Victor some happiness and calmness and thoughts of ‘my father, Elizabeth, and all those scenes of home so dear to my recollection’ Clerval saves him from his ‘horror and misfortune’.
It is also during this conversation with Clerval that we find out how ill Victor has become. Clerval says ‘I did not before remark how very ill you appear; so thin and pale… ‘ This is a good descriptive image of how Victor looks, how ill he has become and how hard he has been working. As soon as Victor begins to think of the events of the previous night and the creature again he begins to ‘tremble excessively’ showing how his feelings are changing from happiness to dread and anxiety as he begins thinking of the creature again. Henry and Victor return to Victor’s apartment. Victor is terrified the monster might still be there.
The suspense is built by Mary Shelly’s description of Victor. He walks with ‘a quick pace’, the thought of seeing the creature makes him ‘shiver’, he ‘dreaded to behold this monster’. Worried that Henry would see the monster Victor asks him to wait downstairs while he goes alone to his rooms. The description of Victor’s feelings building up to opening the door are full of foreboding, he ‘threw the door open’ and Mary Shelly takes us back to childhood fears by Victor describing his actions as ‘children are accustomed to do when they expect a spectre to stand in waiting for them on the other side.
‘ Victor steps ‘fearfully in’ to find the monster gone. This changes the atmosphere completely; Victor finds the disappearance of his monster a source of joy. He describes himself as ‘unable to contain myself,’ his flesh tingled with ‘excess sensitiveness, and my pulse beat rapidly. ‘ He begins jumping over furniture his feelings become manic and falls down in a fit of exhaustion from the release of anxiety over his creation. At first Henry thinks it is happiness at seeing him again and news of the family but he soon sees the ‘wildness’ in Victors eyes and knows something is not right.
‘My dear Victor,’ ‘what, for God’s sake, is the matter? Do not laugh in that manner. How ill you are! What is the cause of all this? ‘ Henry spends the rest of the winter and spring nursing Victor back to health. He does not want to worry Victors father or Elizabeth so he conceals ‘the extent’ of Victor’s illness. During his illness Victor raves on about the monster, but Henry ‘believed them to be the wanderings of my disturbed imagination. ‘ But because Victor continually goes back to the monster Henry begins to think that the illness is due ‘to some uncommon and terrible event.
‘ It takes until the next spring for Victor to recover. Mary Shelly uses the imagery of spring reflected in Victor – he is reborn and the ‘season contributed greatly’ to his recovery. He begins to feel ‘joy’ and ‘affection’ and becomes ‘cheerful as before I was attacked by the fatal passion. ‘ Henry can see that Victor is much better and begins to ask Victor if he may ‘speak to you on one subject’ this immediately agitates Victor, he thinks Henry wants to talk about the monster.
Henry sees Victors agitation and comforts Victor by saying ‘I will not mention it. If it agitates you;’ but a letter had arrived from Victors cousin and because he had not replied for so long they were beginning to worry and would be happy to receive a ‘letter from you in your James Duckworth 10XB Coursework own handwriting. They hardly know how ill you have been, and are uneasy at your long silence. ‘ I think the book is still as popular today as it was then because of the issues it deals with are just as important today as they were then e. g. morality.
We are still pursuing knowledge to create life and we are even closer today to actually achieving this with cloning techniques, genetic engineering and artificial insemination. We are genetically modifying plants and are beginning to debate if it is moral to do this on animals. Scientists are beginning to manipulate DNA to eradicate genetic diseases. Many people think these developments are wrong and the book makes us question whether we should be playing God like this. There are also many examples in the newspapers of where medical knowledge has been kept from the public that has gone on to cause harm.
For example the tobacco industry and smoking, the use of thalidomide all kept secret by the pharmaceutical companies. The book has many messages. The main one is to not play god. The main topics of the book are life and death, religion and science. I think the further we progress in science the more irrelevant religion will become because people will chose to believe science. This is because science proves its theories with facts and in religion you are meant to have beliefs without questioning the word of God.