What language is used in Chapter 5 of Frankenstein to develop atmosphere?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Mary Shelley uses imagery and strategic repetition of key descriptive words to create an atmosphere of horror and gloom in the first part of the chapter, when the monster comes to life.  She uses variations of words such as "dreary", "dismal", "horrid", "disgust", "miserable", and "wretched" liberally, and paints vivid images of ugliness and decay.  An especially vivid example of this is when she has Victor Frankenstein describe holding "the corpse of (his) dead mother...a shroud enveloped her form...the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel".

The gloominess of the atmosphere is further highlighted when, halfway through the chapter, Clerval arrives.  Frankenstein is lifted from his morbid situation and responds manically, jumping over chairs, clapping his hands, and laughing out loud.  The extreme intensity of Frankenstein's apparent joy emphasizes the heaviness of the previous scene by sheer contrast, and the fact that his reaction is based in madness only serves to underscore the darkness of the scene.

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bubblegumpink | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

she uses pathetic fallacy to create atmosphere.

'it was a dreary night of November' refelcts on victors moods.

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