However, in my opinion, this particular complex sentence describing the awakening of the monster could have been written in a slightly more dramatic way, so that it has a greater, more sudden impact on the reader. Short, snappy sentences, with perhaps just one clause, are very effective in creating drama within text. Short sentences can create a rapid, fast pace, and in my view should have been used at this point of the chapter. The whole novel is written in the first person, meaning that it is written from one’s point of view. Chapter Five is written from the view point of Victor Frankenstein.
Using the first person is a fantastic way of enabling the audience to understand the narrator’s feelings and emotions, and can help the audience to put themselves in the narrator’s place. It helps the reader to experience themselves Frankenstein’s feelings. Text written in the First Person appears more direct, and as though it has been written particularly for the individual reader. Throughout Chapter Five, the first person singular ‘I’ is used, for example- ‘How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe’, and ‘I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation’.
Personally, this technique makes me feel empathy and sympathy for Frankenstein. As it enables Frankenstein’s feelings to be revealed, I can understand what must be going through his mind as, ‘by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light’, he watches in horror as the ‘dull yellow eye’ of his creature opens. ‘How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features beautiful. Beautiful!
-Great God! ‘ The moment Frankenstein lays eyes on this new, ugly being, he regrets immediately what he had done, and the ‘beauty of the dream vanished’. After spending two years locked away, devoting himself to crafting this new creature to life, Frankenstein had become blind to the reality of infusing life into such a being. When he finally realizes, it is too late, and is overcome with shock, disappointment, regret, and horror. Blasphemous, powerful language is used, which highlights his utter alarm when realizing what he has done.
Shelley includes a shorter sentence at this point, to really show his disappointment- ‘For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. ‘ This sentence sums up all that he has done to build this new being, and has a big impact on the reader, as the truth really does hit home. Shelley has used a number of both adjectives and noun phrases to describe what the monster looks like. She uses a heavily descriptive style of writing when presenting the monster for the first time. ‘His hair was of a lustrous black’ and ‘his teeth of a pearly whiteness’.
Noun phrases are often used in gothic horrors to create a sudden, vivid image of what is being described. In this case, the noun phrases are used to build up a picture of the creature in the mind of the reader- a technique called Imagery, which helps the reader to understand what Frankenstein is feeling, and to help them imagine being in the same room as, for the first time, life is given back to the dead. Frankenstein portrays the creature as being like a demon, which suggests, like a demon, that it cannot be destroyed, and could come back time after to time to haunt him. Indeed, this does happen.
Shelley uses a metaphor to describe the sheer unsightliness of the creature, and compares it to ‘a mummy again endued with animation’, and states that it was ‘a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived. ‘ Dante, an artist of the time, painted and wrote of Hell, and by making a comparison to his work, the audience- particularly the audience of that time- would have a clear image of this supernatural being. What true novel would be complete without a romantic twist? Unable to cope with the sudden reality, Frankenstein runs, and hides away in his bed-chamber, wishing for time to turn back.
He is tormented by what he has done, can’t sleep properly, and is haunted by nightmares. In his ‘wild dreams’, he focuses on death, adding to the Gothic style. He dreams of Elizabeth- a young woman whom he had known since childhood, and loved dearly- and dreams of embracing her in his arms. As he kisses her, her features change, and he now holds a dead corpse, enveloped in a shroud, with ‘grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel’. From knowledge gained from reading the entire book, Elizabeth does actually die. This dream is a form of foreshadowing, a technique in which the future is suggested.
It creates a feeling of suspicion in the reader, causing them to read on. It builds tension and is a good way of developing an atmosphere. When people have nightmares, they are defenseless to what is happens in the dream. Frankenstein’s nightmare at this point causes the audience to have sympathy for him, because he is powerless to what is happening, and shows that he has been psychologically affected by creating the monster. The word ‘horror’ is repeated many times throughout Chapter Five. ‘I started from my sleep with horror,’ and ‘breathless horror and disgust filled my heart,’ are just two examples.
Horror means dismay, shock and disgust. This word fits perfectly to what Frankenstein is feeling, and so is used on a number of occasions. It is a powerful word, and has a big impact on the reader, especially when used more than once, as this shows the real alarm and fright of Frankenstein. Conquered by alarm and terror, Victor Frankenstein runs, not daring to look back. The monster, weak and confused, is left. It has been rejected. Chapter Five successfully builds tension, and by the end of the chapter, leaves one question in the mind of the reader- ‘What will the monster do? What is it capable of?
‘ The chapter is successful in creating empathy with the narrator. Using techniques such as noun phrases and metaphors, the reader is able to understand the feelings of Frankenstein, and can place themselves in his position. The heavily descriptive style of writing used by Mary Shelley enables the audience to feel Frankenstein’s disappointment after spending two years devoted to his creation for themselves. Chapter Eleven is another chapter of key importance. In this chapter, the creature experiences life, come in contact with his senses, and discovers who he is, and what the world is around him.
Unlike Chapter Five, Chapter Eleven is written from the viewpoint of the creature, yet is still written in the First Person. This enables the audience to understand the feelings and thoughts of the monster, as they did with Frankenstein’s feelings in Chapter Five. However, the typical Gothic style is not continued into this chapter. Though completely different in content, Chapter Eleven contains many of the techniques used in Chapter Five. The creature begins by stating that the memories of his birth are unclear. He describes of his he could not understand his senses, and felt that they were strange and confusing.
He remembers feeling hunger and pain, and explains of how he first experiences light. He feels ‘obliged to shut his eyes’, as he is not used to it, and calls the light ‘oppressive’. Mary Shelley thinks carefully about every aspect of what it must feel like to be born, and really gets into role, and places herself in her character’s place. She describes his feelings in depth- ‘Half-frightened’ and ‘a helpless, miserable wretch’. By doing this, the audience can understand what he is thinking, and are made to feel sympathy for the creature. The creature, alone and confused, stumbles across a brook, and lies down on the ground to sleep.
The audience at this point will compare the little the creature has to what they themselves have. While the creature has the dirty, cold ground on which to sleep, the reader may have a warm bed, and while it eats berries from the trees and ground, they will realize just how much the creature is in poverty, and how Frankenstein has just abandoned it completely. By describing the basic things that the reader may often take for granted, Shelley causes the audience to feel empathy and sympathy with the creature. Awakening, the creature first feels pain, and it weeps.
This shows the audience how sensitive the feeble, lonesome creature is, and will feel sorry for it. As it describes the rising moon- ‘a gentle light stole over the heavens’- the reader can understand how gentle-hearted this being is, and though is going through a rough time, still appreciates the beauty of its surroundings. Like the techniques of describing the setting and using a First Person narrative, the techniques of using imagery and of using noun phrases has been carried through into Chapter Eleven. ‘… Beheld a radiant form rise from among the trees. I gazed with a kind of wonder.
It moved slowly, but it enlightened my path… ‘ This is an example of imagery, and, like in Chapter Five, helps the reader to picture the scene, and to enable them to understand what the creature is feeling. There are also numerous noun phrases, for example- ‘the warmth of the sun… shone brightly on the white ground’. These also aid to the image the reader will have of this place in the forest. Shelley also uses the ‘appeal to the senses’ technique in her writing. In this technique, rather than just explaining what the characters sees, the author describes what the character feels, touches, tastes, and hears also.
This is clearly seen in the text- ‘the light became more and more oppressive… the heart wearying me… felt tormented by hunger and thirst’. This writing strategy enables the writing to explain in depth about the characters feelings and emotions, therefore enabling the audience to have a profound understanding of the creature. The whole chapter is detailed, and successfully creates empathy with the creature, as on Chapter Five where empathy is created with Victor Frankenstein. The chapter causes the reader to rethink about their views on Frankenstein, and shows that there is more than one point of view to the story.
The creation of empathy is especially successful in Chapter Eleven, as the creature’s thoughts are written about deeply, and Shelley as thought about all the new things that the creature would come across when exploring the new world around it. Mary Shelley varies her style throughout the chapters and keeps the audience interested. While adopting a tense, frantic tone in Chapter Five, she uses an explorative and fresh tone in Chapter Eleven. She uses many skills and techniques throughout in order to create empathy with the narrator, and this is done successfully.
This is a sign of a skilled writer. While my personal opinion is that some areas of the text could be slightly altered to increase the effect on the reader, the talent of one of English Literature’s most esteemed writer’s is obvious. After writing a number of other books, Mary Shelley, at the age of 53, sadly passed away- though the spark of Frankenstein remains alive to this day. 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.