What sort of words/devices e.g pathetic fallacy, imagery etc has Mary Shelley used in chapter 5?I've got to do a language anaylsis of chapter 5 so it would help as well if you explain what they...

What sort of words/devices e.g pathetic fallacy, imagery etc has Mary Shelley used in chapter 5?

I've got to do a language anaylsis of chapter 5 so it would help as well if you explain what they suggest or mean as well as some quotes for extra help. 

Asked on by randomme

2 Answers | Add Yours

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Chapter 5 of ‘Frankenstein’ is indeed filled with a variety of techniques to stimulate the reader to visualize the unique event of the creature coming to life. Here are a few to consider for your work-

Pathetic Fallacy

In the best Gothic style the most dramatic and devilish of events occur in a corresponding atmosphere. The events unfurl on:

A dreary night of November

 As the:

 Rain pattered dismally.

 Emotive Language

The narrator clearly expresses his disgust for his creation in his descriptions of it-

 Miserable monster

Demoniacal corpse

 Sarcasm

The narrator is appalled by his creature and his earlier beliefs that the creation could pass as human.

 Beautiful! Great God!

 Exaggeration

In order to emphasise the repulsive appearance the creature’s life now represents, we are given a dramatic comparison-

 ‘a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.

 This illustration, as well as the reference to The Ancient Mariner, is an allusion.

 This is merely the beginning of the chapter – you can continue in this vein for your assignment. Good luck!

 

 

 

MaudlinStreet's profile pic

MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Early in the chapter, the pathetic fallacy is at work. The pathetic fallacy is a device in which the weather/setting reflects the emotions of the characters. In chapter 5, Victor mentions the weather several times; each time, it connects to his own emotional state. Consider even the first paragraph of the chapter:

It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.

I've marked in bold the diction that refers to both the weather and Victor's emotional state. He is anxious, to the point of nearly unbearable pain, and the weather is dreary and stormy, reflecting his own darkness. This continues throughout the chapter. When Victor flees the apartment, it is still raining.

I did not dare return to the apartment which I inhabited, but felt impelled to hurry on, although drenched by the rain which poured from a black and comfortless sky.

Note the description of the sky: "black and comfortless". That is exactly how Victor views the world at that moment. Tormented by his creation, he sees himself as friendless and alone. These are some direct examples of the pathetic fallacy in this chapter. As for imagery, there's many examples throughout the novel. One distinguishing characteristic of Shelley's style is her overly descriptive narration. In chapter 5, one exemplary scene is Victor's dream, where his kiss turns Elizabeth, healthy in the prime of life, into the corpse of his mother. Another use of imagery captures Victor's emotions when thinking about his creation.

Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. A mummy again endued with animation could not he so hideous as that wretch. I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.

By comparing the creature to "a mummy...endued with animation" and a thing unimagined even by Dante, Victor's true horror is easily grasped by the reader.

We’ve answered 318,957 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question