Look at the significance of Chapter 5 to the novel as a whole. Look at the relevance and affect of the writer’s use of language to describe setting, character, and what it shows about social and historical inferences. The story of ‘Frankenstein’ was written in 1818 by well known British author, Mary Shelley. She wrote this novel when she was only eighteen years old after having a horrendous nightmare about an evil scientist bringing to life a human like monster. She got this inspiration from observing Luigi Gavoni, a scientist who used electrical impulses to make dead frogs move.
This novel follows the life of the character Victor Frankenstein and his Monster prior to it being made, during the process and after. ‘Frankenstein’ has a prominent message throughout, that of not judging someone by their appearance but by their inner beauty. Mary Shelley also clearly puts forward her thoughts of the immorality of making life out of dead parts through explaining the trauma Frankenstein has caused to this. She has very clear views that anything that has been unnaturally conceived is wrong.
In the opening paragraph of Chapter 5 readers are enlightened of Frankenstein’s emotions towards the monster which vary from being proud of his accomplishment, to pain, to distress. The first sentence of this paragraph is written with the use of pathetic fallacy, ‘dreary night of November’. This sets the mood instantly for the reader and creates an atmosphere of portentousness in the story. Pathetic fallacy is used again in this paragraph, ‘rain pattered dismally’. This is done deliberately by Mary Shelley as she wants the first paragraph to contrast with the emotions of Frankenstein.
A mood of bleakness is set which contrasts with Frankenstein’s enthusiasm. Frankenstein embarks with a feeling of excitement as he is bringing to life the monster, with this, he quotes the words ‘anxiety’, ‘spark’, but interrupts himself with extreme distress as he realises he has brought to life a corpse of a creature which shouldn’t have been summoned to life. He then uses words like ‘catastrophe’ and ‘wretch’ to describe its horrid appearance. Frankenstein says ‘great God! ‘ which is linked to religious meanings.
Shelley shows Frankenstein saying this quote as she is against the fact that the creature that has been ‘manufactured’, she uses this specific term as being religious it goes against her beliefs of ‘natural reproduction’. Shelley emphasises her disgust towards the creature by doing this. Frankenstein now realises the extreme stress he has put on his body during the ‘two years’ he created and developed the monster, ‘deprived myself of rest and health’. Here the writer infers clear disproval of Frankenstein and his creation as she repeats all the disasters he has caused due to his actions.
The first sentence of the second paragraph, ‘how can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe’ immediately indicates to the reader that Frankenstein is disgusted with the first appearance of the ‘newly born’ monster. He describes it as ‘vulgar’ and ‘horrid’. These extreme words show Frankenstein’s pure hate for the creature. As the story progresses, Frankenstein’s state of mind slowly deteriorates. He realises how excited and happy he was before ‘the beauty of the dream vanished’, and how he is now.
Shelley writes this to teach her readers about the consequences of doing these un-natural experiments and playing with God’s creation of man. The monster flees and as of that, Frankenstein’s fear worsens to paranoia. Frankenstein is shown to be so disturbed that he cannot even sleep. He has ‘wild dreams’ that he sees his beloved Elizabeth who ends up being the corpse of his dead mother. Frankenstein is so disorientated; he loses his natural immunity and becomes ill. He works himself up so much that he gets in such a poor state and is bed ridden with a fever.
‘Cold dew covered my forehead’. At this moment in the story, the reader is starting to lose interest of the suffering of Frankenstein as he has been dragging out his suffering for almost a whole chapter. At the beginning you acknowledged his suffering but it eventually becomes tedious. ‘I passed the night wretchedly’. Mary Shelley does this on purpose to emphasise the point that Frankenstein has been wrong in his doings. She makes the reader dislike Frankenstein through over explaining. This may be a consequence of Frankenstein’s actions, people disliking him.