Look at the significance of Chapter 5 to the novel as a whole. Focus on the relevance and effect of writer’s use of language to describe setting, character and what it shows about social and historical influences. The novel Frankenstein was created by a woman named Mary Shelley. She made up the tale when telling ghost stories with her family, who later told her she should publish the story because it was good.
She officially published her story in 1831. ‘Frankenstein’ or ‘The Morden Prometheus’ is about a young student – Victor, who discovers the secret of creating a new life, and by gathering body parts he creates a monster who promises revenge on his creator after being rejected from society. In the novel, chapter 5 is seen as the key chapter for the reason that this is where the real story about revenge and consequence begins.
We are brought to the place where the creation is created and is first described “his yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath”(1); with fear Victor runs away from his apartment leaving the ‘monster’ alone and abandoned- this portraying the theme of bad parenting. Victor gives life to his ‘monster’- like a new born baby, and deserts him. In the chapter that the creation is abandoned can be related to Mary Shelly’s life. Shelley lost two of her children within a two year period, it was said that she did not cope very well with the loss of her babies and she blamed herself for their deaths.
By some means writing this book let out some personal feelings, and by creating a new life form in her novel suggested that she wished that she could bring back her children back to life. The quotation also shows that the language used is very descriptive, and the talk of yellowing skin barely holding in the muscles and blood vessels, is a nauseating image. To show contrast, Shelly also states Frankenstein’s creation as “beautiful” yet repulsive with his “yellow skin,” “lustrous black, and flowing” hair, and teeth of “pearly whiteness.
“(1) signifying that even though the creation was vile to the eye, somehow the creator found beauty within the created. Chapter 5 links what happens later on in the story. This is shown by the setting, language, character behaviour and the gothic ideas. Shelly uses descriptive words to create imagery and atmosphere in the setting as well as the character behaviour. Applying words such as “dreary”, “dismal”, “horrid”, “disgust”, “miserable”, and “wretched” to a sentence immediately paints an image of gothic atmosphere.
A dramatic example is when Shelly describes Victor Frankenstein holding “the corpse of (his) dead mother… a shroud enveloped her form… the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel”(2). Further on in the chapter happiness is shown when Clerval arrives. The joy of Frankenstein is emphasized to show the contrast of the previous scene. Shelley used words such as ”unable to contain myself”, helping to set the happy and joyous atmosphere. Shelley also quickly changed the atmosphere all of a sudden; changing it from Frankenstein being worried to being relieved.
”I remained with my eyes fixed on the coach and perceived Clerval and nothing could equal my delight” (3); this illustrated that Frankenstein was scared but when Clerval appeared he was joyful. Shelly uses varied types of language to describe the behaviour of characters. As Victor was in his home town of Geneva, the monster visited him explaining how he wanted another female creation and by doing this the ‘monster’ will stop the heartless killings of his friends and family. When Victor Frankenstein agrees, it shows how Shelley has suddenly changed the audiences thought towards him.