Themes in Frankenstein

Topics: Frankenstein, Narrative, Narrator Pages: 3 (861 words) Published: December 17, 2013
Shelley uses multiple narrators, nested and frame narratives and an epistolary style to tell the story of Frankenstein. Comment on the effect of these and why she may have done this.

Mary Shelly’s novel “Frankenstein” was written in 1818. The author uses different types of techniques to create a variety of different narrators and points of views by using a form of epistolary. Frame narration is also another great part of the novel that supports the complexity of layers in the book. These help present the suspicion element, characters point of view, the similarity between the main characters, and allow the reader to develop a personal opinion without the author resorting to the device of an omniscient narrator.

The book starts with the letters from Robert Walton describing his voyage to the North Pole and his sighting of an ill man, who Walton later nurses back to health "A man in wretched condition" pg.11. After a recovery, the stranger, Victor Frankenstein, tells him the story of his life. The letters set up the novel and create suspicion due to the reader not knowing what the significance of these letters is. However, Walton is the first of the characters that tells his story, which gives the reader an advantage to conclude for himself about his opinion towards the different characters. This device, frame narrative, establishes a complex layer of stories, hence, the reader listens to Victors story, so does Walton, and Walton’s sister to him. Throughout the story, Victor occasionally interrupts and addresses Walton directly, or when Walton signs the letters he is sending off to his sister. These are the first encounters with the different language devices that Mary Shelly uses to create more depth in addition to a different structure to other books. Moreover, the reader is compelled to give more attention to the book, in order to understand the plot, and have an own opinion about the different situations in the book.

Furthermore, the letters also...
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