Mary Shelley used the word ‘wretch’ to create a sense of horror and terror in Chapter 5, the word was used throughout Chapter 5 which is why it was so effective because it was repeated and used as a way of getting across to the reader, to remind them that this story is being told by Victor Frankenstein and so will be biased against the monster, not admitting that it had any chance to be good.
She could be trying to tell the readers that he is calling it evil when it hasn’t done anything evil yet, and so implying that Victor is the evil one because he rejected responsibility for his creation, and instead of correcting his error by immediately destroying the evil he had birthed, he was overcome by revulsion and fell psychologically ill. This is demonstrated with Victor Frankenstein saying ‘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?
‘ and ‘A mummy again endued with animation could not be as hideous as that wretch. ‘ The foremost quote shows Victor Frankenstein dehumanizing the monster, not only by referring to it as ‘the wretch’, but also calling it a ‘catastrophe’. Was this dramatic irony or coincidence that it was said just after, the catastrophe moment where circumstances overcome the central motive?
Mary Shelley could’ve written this as a way of confirming a big step from sanity to insanity, or the moment where Victor Frankenstein forgets his aim to create the monster, takes a step back and realizes what he’s done and what he’s created. Certainly after that moment he realizes that the ‘monster’ is really a monster, however when Frankenstein is telling the story, he knows it to be a monster. The second quote uses the word ‘mummy’ to invoke the reader’s imagination and to get to think of something much worse than a mummy.
Mary Shelley used religion and the fear of eternal punishment and of the devil to create a sense of terror and horror in the 19th Century reader. She refers to Danti?? , the author of ‘the divine comedy’, a depiction of hell, and used this to relate to people’s views at the time, of what was horrific. This is shown through the use of the line ‘it became a thing such as even Danti?? could not have conceived’, she uses this to create an image more horrible than the most horrific experience people could dream of at the time.
Many words and phrases are used that are related to religion or the devil, for example Victor says the ‘divine spring’, which is a contrast to the image that is being portrayed by Victor Frankenstein in the overall plot. Another example is ‘Demonical corpse’, this use of holy imagery is likely to have invoked the 18th Century reader’s imagination, as they relied upon religion to explain all that they don’t understand and so, as the bible doesn’t have an explanation for ‘monster’ in Frankenstein, and so they automatically fear it.
They relied upon the church for answers for nearly all the unknown and so when the church cannot explain something, a sense of horror is built in the 19th Century public. The modern reader would inquire and view the text and language differently from the average reader at the time, this is because we now come across this kind of controversy, in genetic engineering and cloning and other issues regularly, and so we can come to terms with the idea of resurrection and do not fear it. The religious theme also relates to the theme of playing god that is commonly used throughout the novel.
‘I collected the instruments of life around me’ implies that he is playing God, so to speak, as at the time, the only person who was supposed to have ‘the instruments of life’ was God, and so this was seen as doing Gods jobs and a very evil thing to do. In Chapter 5, Mary Shelley uses pathetic fallacy to a sense of horror and terror and could use it to create a gothic atmosphere, an example of pathetic fallacy is ‘I perceived that the fallen leaves had disappeared, and that the young buds were shooting forth from the trees that shaded my window’.
Frankenstein contains a whole load of imagery pertaining to the landscape. Being well travelled, Mary Shelley knew many of the locations intimately, especially Geneva and its surroundings. This creates a sense of horror and terror through the image that it paints, it is a very gothic scene and one that is very visual and so this creates a sense of horror and terror in the modern audience as well. Mary Shelley uses language to create a sense of horror and terror, she used religion and science to create an atmosphere to the 19th Century reader.
She also uses techniques, such as pathetic fallacy to create gothic imagery, which creates a sense of horror and terror upon the reader. Through her choice of language, such her use of the word ‘wretch’, she makes the reader interpret the story differently and by doing so can add to the horror and terror that is already in the novel.