Homework Help

Define how Mary Shelley's use of language, in Frankenstein, reveals that Victor's...

user profile pic

strawberryss | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 10, 2011 at 3:34 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Define how Mary Shelley's use of language, in Frankenstein, reveals that Victor's dreams have been shattered.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:03 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Up until chapter five of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor's dreams have existed as the driving force behind the movement of the text. Once chapter five hits, readers come to find a change in both his attitude and his language (or Shelley's language).

The pain and exclamation "felt" in the language is far different than language previously found in the novel. Victor's dream, to create "a new species [that] would bless me as its creator and source" is destroyed upon the "birth" of the Creature. Instead of being the doting father, Victor is horrified by his "son."

"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?"

Victor's dreams have been crushed.

Most poignantly, in regards to language, Shelley's use of the exclamation point drastically changes the language of the text. In fact, she uses this punctuation twice within the second paragraph of chapter five. The use of the exclamation point compounds Victor's distress at the exploding of his dreams to create a being unlike any other on earth.

No longer would his creation be one which would "bless [him] as its creator and source"; natures would no longer "owe their being" to him; he, as the "father" of the Creature, would no longer be able to "claim the gratitude of his child so completely."

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes