Words of Wisdom:

"gara rakshya sabko pashupatinath" - Bubu

A Close Reading of the Opening of Frankenstein

  • Date Submitted: 01/12/2013 06:35 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.3 
  • Words: 1462
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From the very first instance of pathetic fallacy, ‘Frankenstein’ shapes an ‘essence’ that represents an ‘idea’ travelling the expanse of the terrain our narrator is writing from. From the ‘streets of Petersburg’, a ‘northern cold breeze’ plays upon the cheeks of an initially unnamed character, who takes time to marvel at its splendour and promise. This ‘breeze’ serves a purpose deeper than our outwardly perception, as it carries a message; a message that invokes phenomenon and uncertainty. In this analysis, I intend to depict how the second paragraph of the novel ‘Frankenstein’ seeks to establish its premise as a tale with an illustrious vindication of the ‘emergence’ of ideas. I also aim to shed light on the ‘fantastical’ inspiration gained from such a metaphor as the ‘breeze’, and how it causes the narrator to ‘idealise’ a reality from ‘imagination’, rather than to ‘perceive’.
Firstly, I believe it is necessary for me to coin the second paragraph of this novel the ‘beginning’ because, apart from physically being on the first page(s) of the novel, this particular paragraph suddenly mystifies itself, in a sense that a simple, clear meaning behind the words are lost, and is replaced by multiple ‘possible’ meanings and readings. The words become clouded by a sense of emotion; ‘I try in vain’, ‘beauty and delight’, ‘desolation’. What is exactly ‘meant’ by these terms? Does the narrator’s emotional syntax reflect a ‘realistic’ (tangible, perceptible) demarcation or does it constitute a value that is too arduous for lexis to inherit? Would we, as readers, feel the same in the narrator’s disposition? It is here that the novel truly begins, as it succeeds in immersing the reader in an imaginative world of ‘fantastical possibilities’, ‘imaginative recreation’ and ‘surrealism’. The novel, by definition, ‘transports the reader into a different world’ at this point, and overcomes the reader with endless ‘prospects’ and ‘idealistic tendency’ to ‘romanticise’ (beautify or to...


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