How does Mary Shelley create a sense of dread and horror up to chapter 5 in the novel ‘Frankenstein’?

How does Mary Shelley create a sense of dread and horror up to chapter 5 in the novel ‘Frankenstein’?


HideShow resource information
  • Created by: huzaifa
  • Created on: 21-05-11 15:46
Preview of How does Mary Shelley create a sense of dread and horror up to chapter 5 in the novel ‘Frankenstein’?

First 659 words of the document:

How does Mary Shelley create a sense of
dread and horror up to chapter 5 in the novel
Mary Shelley wrote the novel Frankenstein. The novel is also known as the modern
Prometheus. Mary Shelley, her husband Percy and Lord Byron went to Lake Geneva.
Lord Byron challenged the group to a ghost story. After that Mary Shelley had a dream
which then made her start writing her ghost story. Her dream was of a boy which made
a machine, a man, which showed signs of life. Mary then had the basis of her story and
went on to complete the novel in 1817 and published it in 1818, in London when she was
18 years old. Another thing which influenced Mary in writing Frankenstein was Jean
Jacques Rousseau, a French philosopher, writer and composer in the 18th century. She
was deeply motivated by his thoughts and dreams. Her description in Frankenstein
closely resembles her documentations of Rousseau's wanderings throughout his days of
exile. This probably gave her an idea of making the monster alone after her idea of a
man made human machine. Also Mary knew that Rousseau abandoned his children to an
orphanage which Mary disapproved of, but I think this gave her the idea of Victor
abandoning his creation, this also happened to Mary when she was young and it also
happened to Rousseau when he was young. They were both dreamers, yet outcasts and
both found inspiration in loneliness and isolation.
The novel Frankenstein is also called the modern Prometheus. The reason why the
novels subtitle is called the modern Prometheus is because in Greek mythology,
Prometheus was the titan who stole fire from god and gave it to man. Victor stole the
secret of creation of life from god in a way because he created a being in the likeness
of a man. He stole this `fire' or power and bought it to man just like Prometheus did.
Mary Shelley evokes a sense of horror when Victor Frankenstein says in (chapter 5):
"It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils."
This was when Victor creates life, a being in the likeness of a man. `Dreary' could be
dull, gloomy and evil. She included the month of November to show that it is near the
end of the year and it creates a dark setting. `November' is also a cold, dreary month.
It is before December (the last month of the year) so it could mean before death.
`Beheld' is carrying out or something which you have already carried out. It can create
a sense of dread because the thing being carried out could be an evil thing which was
carried out. The word `accomplishment' can be victory, creation or achievement. It
could be victory or achievement of the creation of something evil which creates the
dread. In this case it was the achievement of creating life. `Toils' is the hard work and
hard work is work which is done over a long time. So if it is work done over a long
period of time, than it gives you the feeling that something wicked is being created
behind all the hard work.
The second link is that Prometheus was the one who made humans, just like Victor did
from scratch. This had lot in common with the classic Prometheus; the dream and the
creation of a new species; the disregard of limits. "I saw the dull yellow eye of the
creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs." The point
where the new being had started its life also creates a sense of fear. `Dull' is gloomy,

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Yellow' is a colour most commonly used in dangerous and
dreadful creatures for the eyes and body so it makes the monster look bloodcurdling.
The words `open' and `breathed hard' give the feeling of something is going to happen, a
feeling of tension and suspense because it is the first breath of another human
created and we do not know what is going to happen. 'Convulsive' is the jerky muscular
contractions resembling a spasm. It can also be the sudden violent movement of rage.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

The dream
starts off in a cheerful manner, but the fear starts to occur after he `embraces' her.
Embrace is when you meet someone, shake their hands, hug them or kiss them. But when
he went to `imprint' the kiss on her lips the delightfulness was blown away. `Imprinted'
is when you stick, print, dent, mark or impress something or someone. Here it is used as
printing a kiss on her lips. `Livid' is something becoming discoloured, purple, bruised,
enraged or unusual.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

It is symbolic of Frankenstein (the monster) because the monster stopped
the doctor from being with Elizabeth.
It may be a symbol of science because it is repeatedly shown in the novel as an
alternative way of understanding the world to that offered by religion. The monster is
a warning against scientific progress. The creature represents this in both its power
and its deformities (both physical and moral).…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Victor and hug him for creating him; for giving him life again. But Victor probably
thought he was trying to attack him so he escaped, but I think that the monster
wanted love which was not returned to him.
An example of the third element is when the monster watched and studied a family of
cottagers, he felt as if he was part of their family without even meeting them. Even
after the cottager's rejection, he still had hope that they would accept him.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Victor had never heard of these theories or ideas before about electricity. This was
new to him and in future when he made his monster he used electricity from lightning
to stimulate the body of movement.
There is a small amount of dread and horror which Shelley has created in this quote.
Words like vanishing, disappearing, shattered and splintered give you negative feelings
of something happening. This can be the story of Victor when he just finished creating
the monster.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

Walton already knew about the ancient mariner and his punishment for killing the
albatross, and that is why in his second letter to his sister near the end he tells her he
will kill no albatross."I am going to unexplored regions, to the land of mist and snow;
but I shall kill no albatross, therefore do not be alarmed for my safety, or if I should
come back to you as worn and woeful as the `Ancient Mariner'.…read more

Page 8

Preview of page 8

Here's a taster:

I think Shelley started with the letters and used a frame narrative because she
wanted to make it more interested and engage the reader, and make them wonder
what story is going to be told by the stranger. It is a unique way of starting Victor's
story, instead of just going straight onto the story with chapter 1. Two peoples story
can also be told in this way, who both have desires, both lonely, and both sacrificed
someone for seeking knowledge.…read more

Page 9

Preview of page 9

Here's a taster:

Walton hears his tale.
Whereas Victor continues in his secrecy out of shame and guilt, the monster is forced
into isolation by his monstrous and hideous appearance. Walton serves as the final
confessor for both, and their tragic relationship becomes celebrated in Walton's
letters.…read more

Page 10

Preview of page 10

Here's a taster:

The similar qualities which Walton and Victor shared were curiosity, loneliness,
selfishness, and a desire to conquer the unknown. Both started with their similar
situations, goals, attitudes and qualities, but Walton was saved and he returned home
because Victor had already finished his goal and faces his consequences. This was the
only difference. Walton decided to go with the crew, because that was the will of the
entire ship and he decided to choose community instead of isolating himself for his own
personal conquest.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar English resources:

See all English resources »See all resources »