In "Frankenstien", how does the writer use language in chapter 5 to develop the atmosphere?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first paragraph of Chapter 5 describes Victor "switching on" the monster. Although not the lightning storm night as depicted in the movies, Shelley makes generous use of adjectives and adverbs to describe the dark mood of the laboratory surroundings -- "dreary night in November," "rain pattered dismally against the panes" are but 2 examples.  Her description of the creature itself serves to enhance the sense of dread  "...by the glimmer of half extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open..." "His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath..." "Shrivelled complexion and straight black lips." Beholding his creation, Victor discovers that "horror and disgust filled my heart."  Victor attempts to sleep, but has a nightmare, witnessing his sister Elizabeth and/or his mother transforming from life to death; awakening, he finds his creation, which he had transformed from death to life, peering over him and attempting to communicate.  Further phrases "the demoniacal corpse to which I had so miserably given life," "No mortal could support the horror of the countenance," "it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived" express the anxiety and guilt Victor experiences. Alluding to Dante suggests that all the horrors of Hell he constructed in the "Inferno" could not compare to this monster.    Shelley includes an excerpt from Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner" describing a "frightful fiend" close behind, which gives a bit of foreshadowing to the story, when the monster chases Victor out on the ice. After staying out in the rain all night to escape him, Victor falls seriously ill with a "nervous fever," raves incoherently about his creation and is several months in recovery.