English Commentary on Frankenstein

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Isolation in Frankenstein
This passage is taken from page 119 of chapter 19 in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Closing in on the ending of the novel, this passage explores the self-reflecting state of Frankenstein’s mind when in isolation on the Islands of Orkney. Fear arises as a critical emotion that strikes him during his time spent on his creation. After visiting Edinburgh and a number of other cities, Frankenstein leaves his friend Henry Clerval and settles in a remote part of the Scottish countryside to finish the work of creating a partner for the monster. He commences his new creation driven by his fear of the monster. However, although Frankenstein has agreed to the task, he detests his work and begins to doubt the righteousness of his actions. The tone of this passage is exemplified through Frankenstein’s desolate surroundings. Shelly highlights other literary devices to accompany the shifts in tone. This educates readers on Frankenstein’s self-reflective thoughts and attitude towards his work in the current state of isolation.

At first, the tone in this passage displayed by Shelly emerges to be light-hearted and serene as she explains Frankenstein’s everyday actions by using simplistic and soothing language, “(Quote) I walked on the stony beach of the sea, to listen to the waves as they roared, and dashed at my feet (End quote)” (Shelly 119). From a reader’s perception, Frankenstein is simply taking a break from his studies to enjoy what nature has to offer him.

In the beginning stages of the passage, valuable insight is present to support the setting, describing the place that Frankenstein resides as “two rooms, and these exhibited all the squalidness of the most miserable penury” (Shelly 119). The unpleasant appearance of his shelter was also expressed through visual imagery as Shelley writes “the thatch had fallen in, the walls were unplastered, and the door was off its hinges” (Shelly 119). This description of the broken...
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