How Is Chapter 5 Significant to the Noval as a Whole/ Frankenstein

Topics: Frankenstein, Gothic fiction, Mary Shelley Pages: 8 (3157 words) Published: April 20, 2010
How is chapter 5 significant to the novel as a whole?

The significance of chapter 5 to the novel as a whole can be observed through the relevance of the writer's use of language to describe the setting, character and what it shows about social and historical influence of ‘Frankenstein’. Mary Shelley wrote and conceived of Frankenstein while she and her husband Percy Shelley were visiting Lord Byron in Switzerland in June 1816. They had spent an evening around the fire telling horror stories. By the support of her husband, she continued to develop the story at the age of 19 and was published in March 1818. Mary Shelley became one of the most famous authors by writing ‘Frankenstein’, one of the best works of gothic horror, unfortunately in the 19 century; women were not credited well and did not have many rights. Mary Shelley could not publish the novel because she was a woman. Therefore, Mary Shelley published the novel under her husbands name ‘Percy Shelley’. Mary Shelley had written the novel because in her past she had experienced many deaths in her family. All the circumstances in her life brought her to write Frankenstein, one of the world’s greatest horror novels. The idea of this book was to bring the dead back to life and was a reflection of Mary Shelley’s own life. Chapter 5 is written as an imperative chapter; this is because in the novel the creation is brought to life, first described that, ‘as the yellow eye of the creature opened’ his creator Victor Frankenstein flees into the streets in fear. Shelley shows descriptive features of Frankenstein’s monster. One example from the text is ‘shrivelled complexion’; she uses descriptions like this in long sentences to create imagery in the reader’s minds. In those times, people were very religious and Frankenstein was about resurrecting the dead back to life. People were very strict religiously and became offended by novel and were utterly disgusted. Today scientists have proven and discovered a lot about humans and how the world was created so people have begun to believe in science. This novel is one of the most enduring works of gothic genre and compared to the novels written today, they are not equivalent to Frankenstein.

Chapter 5 is the main part of the novel. This is hugely important to the story because this tells us Shelley’s feelings and accomplishments. In those times, men were credited more than women were. Therefore, Mary Shelley made her main character as a male called Victor Frankenstein who is a doctor that studied natural philosophy. He is very obsessed with science and particularly in bringing, the dead back to life; something man had never done before. Referring to the text, ‘I work hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body’, the obsession Victor has of just resurrecting the dead is shown clearly and how much science is important to him. Victor continued and started to create a creature out of dead remains. He begins to create the creature as it says in the text ‘I collected the instruments of life around me’ this shows us that Victor Frankenstein is trying to bring the monster to life with his machinery. Another point that proves that he is beginning to give his ultimate design the gift of life is, ‘I might infuse a spark into the life into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet’, this proves that the creature Victor was trying to bring to life was still inactive and dead. In another part of the chapter it says ‘I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open’ this sentence is describing that the monster has been brought to life and is alive; so the experiment was a success. Mary Shelley describes the atmosphere and introduces the opening of chapter 5 as ‘it was on a dreary night of November’ and then follows with ‘the rain pattered dismally against the panes’. Both quotations suggest a dark, gloomy, gothic atmosphere and both quotes use pathetic fallacy. Mary also tells what time it is, ‘by the dim...
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