What is the mood in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein?

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The mood of Frankenstein is one of foreboding, or tragedy or evil, that is to come. The first-person point of view from Victor Frankenstein allows the narration to reflect the hard-earned wisdom that he gained from his actions. It is clear from the moment of Victor’s interest in alchemy that no good will come from this. This fact that he immediately abandoned his creature left a sense of approaching doom: Victor does not know what has become of the creature. He makes the leap to the conclusion that it is the creature who has killed his little brother William, as well as causing the guilt to be placed on Justine, who is executed as a murderess. With each event, this leads the reader along, knowing that the creature’s actions will lead him on to more and more murders. On the way, however, the reader learns the creature’s story and manages to gain some sympathy for, perhaps even identification with, him. This gives a paradoxical feeling for the “monster.” With the tragic ending and the creature’s remorse, this becomes less of a horror story than a tale of lost opportunity and love.