The use of light and dark within chapter Five Frankenstein?In particular how is light and dark a symbol within chapter five, quotes would be helpful. So when frankenstein sees the monster from the...

The use of light and dark within chapter Five Frankenstein?

In particular how is light and dark a symbol within chapter five, quotes would be helpful. So when frankenstein sees the monster from the light of the moon what is that showing that he isnt blinded by light and sees the error of his ways. That sort of thing

Asked on by abz

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

kimfuji's profile pic

kimfuji | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

In Shelley's Frankenstein, light represents the act of discovery. It also represents obtaining knowledge/ enlightenment. In the novel, the main goal of Victor is to seek out the light of understanding. However, as we know, much of nature is a mystery. Victor uncovers dark secrets(the darkness) in the laboratory. (These are secrets he should not know.)In chapter 5 he describes the monster he both loves and hates, that he created. He feels relief when it escapes. This is because he is so conflicted about creating it. The monster learns things on his own, like when there is fire there is light. He is almost hypnotised by fire and that it causes light in the darkness of the woods.When he is burned by it it surprises him.

Remember the myth of Prometheus ? He stole the fire from the gods. Victor cannot obey in a similar manner that Prometheus could not obey Zeus. Victor disregards the "mystery" of life and thinks he can create a human from mere body parts. Victor Frankenstein is a retelling of the Promethean myth of both creation and fire. Fire equals light and represents enlightenment. However going into the realm of nature causes pain; this is the darkness. It is darkness because mere mortals are not permitted to go there. Victor in a sense has the same experience with the fire of enlightenment similar to his monster; however, he is hurt by enlightenment, the way the monster was burned.When he sees the monster by the light of the moon, he realises the horror of his act: trying to create a human being when it was not his right to create it. (And he could not successfully create a human being after all.)

We’ve answered 318,932 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question