Chapter Four Analysis of Frankenstein

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Chapter Four Write a detailed, analytical response to this chapter. Shelley utilises a lot of description and imagery throughout this section of the novel. For example, she opens the chapter illustrating a “dreary night of November”. Her use here of pathetic fallacy immediately sets the tone as bleak and dull. She continues, using phrases such as “the rain pattered dismally against the pane”, to create a subdued and hopeless atmosphere. Similarly, towards the end of Chapter 4, Shelley’s use of seasonal imagery, delineating a “divine spring” is representative of Frankenstein’s current state of new hope and revival; although it becomes apparent that he is simply in denial, and that the chapter of his life involving the creature still hasn’t ended. Shelley’s depictions of Frankenstein’s monster are also very detailed and descriptive. The reader is able to build up a clear visual image of the “demoniacal corpse” through Shelley’s characterisation, which highlights physically undesirable features such as his “yellow skin” and “watery eyes”. This is also done with respect to Clerval, however to the opposite effect. Clerval’s presence evokes “delight” and “serene joy” in Frankenstein, and the significance of his visit to Ingolstadt, in the eyes of Frankenstein, is immeasurable. Clerval is an important character because, as he has come from Geneva, he is representative of Frankenstein’s former life. He symbolises family, safety and stability, things which Frankenstein has now essentially lost connection with. When Frankenstein falls ill, he refers to Clerval as having been his “only nurse” during this time, and later “exclaim[s]” to his friend, “how kind, how good” he is to him. It appears that according to Shelley’s depiction of Frankenstein’s thoughts, Clerval embodied the characteristics of generosity, love, selflessness, friendship and loyalty. The reader
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