This essay analyses the importance of chapter 5 and the ways Shelley; author of Frankenstein, builds up the atmosphere, describes the night, the monster and Victors attitude. There are three editions of this book. The first published in 1818, the second in 1823 and the third and final one in 1931. Shelley was born in 1797; this being a critical time in Europe. Some central developments were the French revolution and Rise of industrialism. This fictional story is about the creation of a monster made out of used body parts. This chapter is important to the book because this is where the monster comes to life here with the end result being his abandoning.
The novel focuses on the creation of an eight foot monster, composed of old body parts, who is given life by a scientist; Victor Frankenstein. Victor leaves his hometown, Geneva, to study philosophy at the University of Ingolstadt. He spends months creating a creature of old body parts and bringing it to life. He is disappointed with the result and rejects it. The monster murders Victors brother, William, for revenge. The monster promises not to harm anyone else on one condition: that victor creates a female monster for him. Victor begins the creation but regrets it later on and destroys it. Angry at victor, the monster promises to be with him on his wedding night. Victor chases the monster intending to kill him but falls ill and dies. The monster mourns his creators death and promises to fulfill his wish and decides to commit suicide.
This chapter is important to the book because in this chapter the monster comes to life for the first time and victor is unhappy with his creation. How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe? This shows that victor is confused about how the result could be so hideous, since he used beautiful body parts to assemble the monster. Here victor has described his creation as a catastrophe. This clearly shows that victor is disappointed with the monster.
The monster wasnt born violent, but was forced to become violent because of his environment and victor; his only parent abandoning him straight after he was given life. The wretch whom with such infinite pain and care I had endeavored to form? Victor has also changed his views of the world and life. He had sacrificed all his time for this experiment and the end result was horrific. He is terrified of his own creation and misses his family. He wants to go back to Geneva; his home.
Shelley describes the atmosphere, the night, the monster and victors attitude towards the monster in various ways. The chapter starts off with a dreary night of November. Here Shelley describes the night and the atmosphere. By reading this phrase the reader knows that something dreadful is going to happen. It also makes the reader want to carry on. It adds a feeling of dread and horror into the readers mind. Victor collected the instruments of life. This adds tension into the chapter because here victor is just collecting the instruments so the reader does not know what the outcome will be. This is also reference to industrialism and machinery.
Victor starts his creation by infusing a spark of being into the lifeless thing. This phrase also adds to industrialism and science. The language used emphasizes contrast and imagery. The contrast of life and death is portrayed in this sentence; being is referring to life and lifeless is referring to death.
The tension level rises as the dull yellow eye of the creature opens. Victors creation has come to life. This is showing the description of the creature using imagery; dull yellow eye. This creates contradiction because yellow is a bright colour and dull means the opposite. This is also known as an oxymoron.
Shelley gives a contrast of good and bad features. selected his features as beautiful, hair was a lustrous black, pearly whiteness, these all contrast with watery eyes, shriveled complexion, yellow skin. This builds imagery and shows victors attitude towards the monster.
infusing life into an inanimate body. This gives the contrast of life and death. inanimate would usually be referred to the dead and life for being alive. For this victor had deprived himself of rest and health; but as the monster is given life, victor describes his reaction as a breathless horror and disgust filled his heart. Victor rushes to his room and tries hard to fall asleep. Victor is disturbed by the wildest dreams and sights Elizabeth. as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue if death. This builds the atmosphere and develops the contrast between life and death. It also gives a sense of imagery. This shows that from the moment he had tried to bestow life into the dead, he accomplished the total opposite; he causes the living to die. Victor is shivering when he awakes. dim and yellow light of the moon, shows the reader that it is night time and also gives imagery. It also gives the characteristics of a gothic novel.
Victor describes his creation as a miserable monster. Here alliteration is used to draw the readers attention on the description of the monster. The monster peers through victors windows, his jaws opened and a grin wrinkled his cheeks. This adds imagery into the description of the monster. Victor is confused so goes down to the courtyard to take refuge.
a mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch. This shows victors attitude towards the monster as he has drawn the similarity of the monster to a mummy again endued with animation. This shows that victor; being his creator, hates and loathes his creation. Shelley also refers to Dante, a famous Italian writer. He wrote two famous works; Hell and Paradise. it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived. This phrase shows that it must have been very hideous that even Dante did not come up with a creature like that to put in is Hell book. This constitutes to the theme in this chapter; dehumanization of the monster.
I passed the night wretchedly, showing victor found it hard to sleep and that he was in fear and dread; and discovered to my sleepless and aching eyes. indicated the sixth hour. This describes the night and marks the end of it. Victor is dreading every corner and feared every turning of the street. The atmosphere is described wetted by the rain which is coming down from a black and comfortless sky. It also gives imagery of the scene.
Victor goes for a walk intending to ease the load that weighed upon my mind. This is a poetic exaggeration as nothing can be weighed on your mind. Victor is very worried and his heart palpitated in the sickness of fear. This is adding to the atmosphere and imagery again. It is also known as onomatopoeia. By this we know that victor is falling ill due to the fear of the monster. Victor is walking on towards an inn where coaches stop. He remains there for a while. A coach appears and victors friend, clerval, comes out. The mood of the atmosphere suddenly changes and victor has forgotten all his horror and misfortune. He feels calm. Thoughts of his family come back to him. Clerval explains to him that his father has allowed him to study at Ingolstadt and victor is delighted. Victor questions about his family and Elizabeth. Clerval explains that all is good. Clerval asks victor how ill you appear; so thin and pale. Victor replies deeply engaged in one occupation; the monster.
Victor is dreading the monster at the remembrance of the previous night. I trembled excessively. This is showing imagery and contrasting the theme of life and death. This is victors attitude towards the monster due to fear. This also shows that victor is extremely ill. Victor and Clerval go to the college but victors thought made him shiver. This is the thought of the monster. It is the language of imagery. Victor fears whether the creature is still in his room or not; where he left him. Victor opens the door as children do when they are scared. This shows victors attitude towards the monster and his fear of it.
The tension level drops now because the hideous guest has gone. Victor cannot believe that so great a good fortune happened to him, especially after the monster was created. Victor was extremely happy so he clapped his hands for joy and went down to clerval. Victor was overwhelmed and could not believe what had happened. He felt his flesh tingle with sensitiveness and his pulse beat rapidly. This adds imagery into the story and shows he is excited because he is breathing very fast. He jumped over the chairs, clapped his hands and laughed aloud; all these show the tension level has dropped because victor is very happy that is enemy has left him. Clerval becomes very astonished by victors behavior. He questions him as to why he is laughing in that way and that he looks very ill. Crying, victor puts his hands over his eyes thinking he saw the dreaded spectre glide into the room. Victor falls ill. He is confused. a meeting, which he anticipated with such joy, so strangely turned to bitterness. This shows that even the little bit of joy that victor receives; the monster is always going to be there to destroy it.
Victor describes himself as lifeless. This was the word first used for the monster, but now victor is using this word to describe himself. Victor is very ill of a nervous fever. He is talking to himself about his family and clerval. Clerval thought at first it was only the wandering of his disturbing imagination. But victor repeated the same subject making clerval realize that the disorders origin was some uncommon and terrible event. Victor had frequent elapses that alarmed and grieved clerval.
Victor then recovered. He remembers the fallen leaves had disappeared, and that the young buds were shooting forth. This shows contrasts with life and death that are referred to as spring and autumn. fallen leaves is autumn, which gives the meaning of death and young buds is spring which gives the meaning of life. young buds also shows life from the dead which refers to the monsters creation. All joy and affections revive in victors bosom. His gloom disappeared. He describes his illness as a fatal passion.
Victor thanks clerval for everything he has done for him and asks how he can repay him. Clerval replies that all he wants is for victor to get better and not to get ill again. The tension level intensifies when Clerval asks victor if he could ask him regarding one subject. Victor trembled. what could it be? Victor is confused and scared because how could Clerval find out about the monster.
Clerval realizes that victors face has changed and says to him I will not mention it, if it agitates you. He carries on explaining that is family are worried about him and would like it if they received a letter from you in your own handwriting. Now the tension level has dropped completely. Victor asks is that all? seeming very surprised. He explains that he loves his family and clerval tells him that a letter has been waiting for him from his cousin.
This essay focused on how Mary Shelley described the night, the atmosphere, the monster and victors attitude. She achieved this in many ways; imagery, alliteration, simile etc. Chapter 5 is important because here the monster comes to life for the first time and victor abandons him due to fear.