The social and historical influence Essay
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Look at the significance of chapter 5 to the novel as a way to focus on the relevance and effect of the writers’ use of language to describe setting and characters and what it shows about the social and historical influence? This novel is about an extremely intelligent doctor called Victor Frankenstein who used his knowledge of science to find a way of keeping people alive. Mary Shelley’s plot must have been influenced by the changes that were happening around her in Britain during the early stages of the industrial revolution.
Scientists at this time were investigating the meaning of life. They were using corpses in experiments. She appears to have a great understanding of the scientific discoveries of that time. Behind the writing is a deeper meaning. Mary Shelley is trying to show us how an addiction to anything is not natural and very often dangerous to our well-being and to our social and mental health. Chapter 5 is a crucial moment because this is when the monster is brought to life.
Mary Shelley’s opening sentence of chapter 5 is Dr Frankenstein telling us ‘It was a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils’. He goes on to say ‘It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes’. The dismal setting contrasts with Dr Frankenstein’s expectation and anxiety he is feeling just moments before his creation is brought to life. This setting and events causes us to be alarmed and scared because we start imagining what it would be like to be in his position.
He then tells us ‘The monster’s dull yellow eye opens and it begins to breathe. ‘ We would think that he is pleased that he has succeeded in what he set out to do but he straight away is horrified at his creation and what it has turned out to look like. He expresses his negative feelings many times, such as ‘breathless horror and disgust filled my heart’ and ‘the demonical corpse to which I had so miserably given life. ‘ This shows us that the social influence of looks was as great then as it still is in 2009.
Dr Frankenstein is distraught about how his creation looks rather than thinking about the feat he has just achieved, I find it puzzling that he is shocked by it’s image only after the creature has been brought to life, even though he could have seen what it would look like when it was on the operating table. I believe that this shows Dr Frankenstein was so caught up by the science involved with making this being that he was blind to the obvious This is backed by him saying ‘I had selected his features as beautiful’ this shows us he genuinely thought it was beautiful when it was being made.
This chapter shows us that social influences are similar to that we experience today. Through out the novel Mary Shelly uses language to change the atmosphere. This is most present in chapter 5 in which the monster is born and Dr Frankenstein’s mood changes from a rather exited one to one of bitter disappointment and then again to cowardice before becoming rather animated at the arrival of Clerval. There is much emphasis on description. Dr Frankenstein describes in great detail the evening, the monster and his changing feelings towards his ‘project’.
His language is often overdramatic and emotional. ‘At length lassitude succeeded to tumult I had before endured, and I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness’, here he is using descriptive words that would not commonly be used today, this reminds us that this novel was written in the 1800’s. Shelley writing style is very catching. I believe this is because she isn’t writing as a watcher but as a character.
This gives us the best view because we know the characters feeling as well as knowing what they don’t, this can leave the reader frustrated, worried, scared, and hopeful such as at the end of chapter five when Clerval arrives and Victor has his nervous breakdown. This is evident when victor imagines what could happen. Clerval asks “My dear Victor, what, for God’s sake, is the matter? Do not laugh in that manner. How ill are you! What is the cause to all this? ” To which Victor replies “Do not ask me, He can tell. Oh save me! Save me!
” All this while Frankenstein had been fighting an invisible monster, had Clerval known like us about the monster many people could have been saved. In conclusion I think Mary Shelley produced a novel that was frighteningly believable. I believe that this book shows us that social influence is massive and Shelley believed that one-day man would hold the meaning to life not God. 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.