How does Shelley use language in chapter five to develop atmosphere and pace?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The chapter highlights the haunting guilt, fear, revulsion and shame that Victor feels as a result of his scientific success.  It is too late, however, to realize that the door that he opened through his passionate devotion to science should have remained closed.   

"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?" Oh! no mortal could support the horror of that countenance. A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch. "(Shelley)   

In Chapter 5, Victor completes his creation, the result of his passion to discover the secrets of life.  Now that the creature is complete, he is repulsed by what he has made. His desire to open a forbidden door has unleashed a force that Victor has no idea how to control. 

So in this chapter, the pace is set by fear of the unknown.  The creature's inevitable existence, which for Victor was inescapable, now dominates his life.  He does not know what it is capable of what it will do.

The atmosphere is dominated by anxiety.  Victor is horrified by what he has done, and he becomes ill from nervous exhaustion.  It is after the monster is created that Victor's two lives, his external life and his internal life of secrecy begin to conflict in an open battle.  The monster, Victor's creation systematically destroys everything from Victor's external life.

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Frankenstein

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