Discuss how Mary Shelly conveys the effect of horror through her writing in Chapter 5. Focus on the relevance and effect of the writer’s use of language to describe setting, character and what it shows about historical influences.
Mary Shelley’s life was surrounded with death as Mary Shelley’s mother died just ten days after giving birth to her. Her own daughter died within two weeks of birth. Then Mary’s husband drowned when he took a boat out to sea in a storm even though he could not swim. These deaths may be the reason why Mary Shelley became intrigued in bringing the dead back to life.
In this essay therefore I will explore how Mary Shelley portraits her skills as a writer of both Gothic Horror and Science-Fiction. Chapter 5 of the novel was originally intended as a short story to be entered into a ghost story competition. In order to stand a chance of winning Mary Shelley had to hook the reader within the first few paragraphs of reading. She does this by shrouding the reader in mystery as to what is going on and throwing the reader into a vivid description of the monster without explanation. As the novel was originally intended for as a ‘ghost story’, the horror theme is explicit.
Firstly, I will explore the setting for the scene in the opening paragraphs of chapter 5; including the use of pathetic fallacy. This is used variously throughout the novel, events of which are yet to come. The mood of the scene reflects the weather in the scene. The scene is set “on a dreary night of November”. Overall, the scene is set as a dark and dreary night with heavy rain; the only light is dim candle light. This makes any given description partially shadowed or not completely known, keeping the reader in some mystery as to descriptor as a whole, a theme of both Gothic Horror and of Science-Fiction. The description Mary Shelley gives is once again vivid, “his yellow skin scarcely covered the work of his muscles & arteries beneath”. This description is very important as the novel soon comes to a turning point where the novel is told from the ‘monsters’ perspective. This is because many people will envision what is going on through their minds eye, therefore for the reader to follow exactly how Mary Shelley created the monster, they need this description.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in London in 1797 to radical philosopher, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Wollstonecraft died 11 days after giving birth, and young Mary was educated in the intellectual circles of her father’s contemporaries. In 1814, at the age of seventeen, Mary met and fell in love with poet, Percy Bysshe ...
Why did Victor create the monster? Mary Shelley partially based the novel on the Greek myth of Prometheus. Mary Shelley subtitled Frankenstein, “The Modern Prometheus”. One common element is that both of their ambitions were to benefit mankind. Prometheus’s goal was to better mankind by providing them fire from the heavens, Zeus then punished Prometheus by fixing him to a rock and each day a predatory bird came to devour his liver. Whereas Victor believed his research could create an ultimate and powerful being, which he considered would help mankind, which later turned on him and killed all of this loved ones. When Victor looks back at what he had created towards the end of the novel, he regrets bringing the monster into the world.
In conclusion, the novel, when it was first published was seen as a unique as well as horrific. Mary Shelley wrote the novel from several different perspectives* giving a vast insight into many characters feelings and emotions. The viewpoint of the monster is intriguing as the reader will feel sympathy towards the monster only to be reminded of what he actually is. Victor Frankenstein wanted to better mankind and in turn helped corrupt it, this plays on the readers sympathy as he tries to do good, he becomes obsessed with his work, as everything around him falls and everyone he cares about disappears. Mary Shelley’s skills as a writer of both Gothic Horror and of Science-Fiction create a whole new way of thinking which has sparked into many authors writing similar pieces.* This chapter has given me a better understanding of the 19*th* century style of writing and the genre of Gothic. It has helped me realise the views of a person from that period of time and the lifestyle and revolution they experienced.
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein creates a monster that murders several people, and then flees through Europe to the Arctic Circle. In the beginning of the story, it seems that Frankenstein is simply a scientist chasing a pipe dream of finding the key to eternal life, but closer analysis of the text reveals that Frankenstein is not sane, and possibly suffering from one of ...