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What are the main themes in chapter 5 of the novel Frankenstein?

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lisahors | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 16, 2010 at 6:16 AM via web

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What are the main themes in chapter 5 of the novel Frankenstein?

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 16, 2010 at 6:33 AM (Answer #1)

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I assume you mean Volume 1, Chapter 5 of Frankenstein, and not Volume 2?

The main themes are in bold:

Creation of Life from Death: Victor wants to "infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet" and

God vs. Man vs. Monster: Ironically, Victor (a god who can create new life) calls the Monster both a "catastrophe" and a "Beautiful!--Great God!"  The duality of horror and fascination of life is prevalent in the Romantic artist.

Fantasy vs. Reality: At once, Victor denies the reality of his creation.  He tries to abort it.  As such, he exiles both it and himself.  As a result, he is haunted by "the wildest dreams."  This foreshadows the revenge of the monster against him for abandoning him.

Mythical Allusions: This chapter is like the Biblical Creation of Man in Genesis and the Promethean Myth of Fire and Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner."  Victor even quotes it: "Like one who, on a lonely road, Doth walk in fear and dread, And, having once turned round, walks on, And turns no more his head; Because he knows a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread."  As such, there is immediate guilt, punishment, and shame involved in the fall of man.

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