How does Mary Shelley use language to create effect in chapter 5?
By Eugenie Tete-Donkor
Chapter 5 explores the effect of humans using science to toy with nature. Through language typical to the Gothic genre Mary Shelley conveys the idea that when science or a scientist tries to ‘play God’ the outcome is unpleasant. This chapter could be interpreted as a part of a warning to the scientists and revolutionary people of her time.
The writer’s use of pathetic fallacy through “rain pattered dismally against the panes” and “glimmer of the half-extinguished light” reflects on the dull, macabre atmosphere surrounding the event of Victor trying to “infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing”. Shelley’s use of negative words such as “dreary” and “toil” implies to the reader that the act of giving life that Victor is about to carry out will have an adverse conclusion.
When Shelley describes the monster, her use of colour imagery incites the image in the reader’s mind of this abominable creature Frankenstein has erected. One would expect that since each of the monsters features were so carefully selected, the monster would be the “beautiful” being Frankenstein had previously exclaimed about. However in fact, the monster’s “hair [was] of a lustrous black” and his “teeth of a pearly whiteness” in contrast with his “dull yellow eye” ,“yellow skin” and his “shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.” evoke the opposite effect on the reader. Furthermore, the colours used to describe the monsters features resemble that of an ill or dead person, the dull yellow colour of his eyes and skin and black lips amplify the eeriness of the monsters appearance.
“How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?’. The purpose to such a question is to make a deeper impression by confronting the reader directly rather than making an obvious...