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"Give a man fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Suvi2

Frankenstein 9

  • Date Submitted: 03/21/2010 07:54 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.9 
  • Words: 710
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Discuss how Mary Shelly conveys the effect of horror through her writing in Chapter 5. Focus on the relevance and effect of the writer’s use of language to describe setting, character and what it shows about historical influences.
Mary Shelley’s life was surrounded with death as Mary Shelley’s mother died just ten days after giving birth to her. Her own daughter died within two weeks of birth. Then Mary’s husband drowned when he took a boat out to sea in a storm even though he could not swim. These deaths may be the reason why Mary Shelley became intrigued in bringing the dead back to life.
In this essay therefore I will explore how Mary Shelley portraits her skills as a writer of both Gothic Horror and Science-Fiction. Chapter 5 of the novel was originally intended as a short story to be entered into a ghost story competition. In order to stand a chance of winning Mary Shelley had to hook the reader within the first few paragraphs of reading. She does this by shrouding the reader in mystery as to what is going on and throwing the reader into a vivid description of the monster without explanation. As the novel was originally intended for as a ‘ghost story’, the horror theme is explicit.
Firstly, I will explore the setting for the scene in the opening paragraphs of chapter 5; including the use of pathetic fallacy. This is used variously throughout the novel, events of which are yet to come. The mood of the scene reflects the weather in the scene. The scene is set “on a dreary night of November”. Overall, the scene is set as a dark and dreary night with heavy rain; the only light is dim candle light. This makes any given description partially shadowed or not completely known, keeping the reader in some mystery as to descriptor as a whole, a theme of both Gothic Horror and of Science-Fiction. The description Mary Shelley gives is once again vivid, “his yellow skin scarcely covered the work of his muscles & arteries beneath”. This description is very important...

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