Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

analytical Essay
1518 words
1518 words

Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein is a Gothic novel that contains two genres, science fiction and Gothicism. The novel is a first person narrative that uses a framing technique, where a story is told within a story. Shelley gives the book a distinctive gothic mood tone by the use of her chosen setting which is dark and gloomy, by doing this it reflects the hideousness of the creature; the point of views helps towards the realism of the novel; and characterization able the reader to interact with the characters and feel sympathy or hatred towards each one. To entice the readers into her suspenseful novel Shelley uses foreshadowing. The narrative structure shows a wide range of perspectives rather than just one, by doing this it provides the reader with greater insight of the characters personalities. Symbolism and imagery evokes the readers’ emotions where sympathy is concerned. Shelley has entwined these techniques to produce a novel where the readers’ sympathy jumps from character to character and moral judgements are made due to the characters actions.

The weather is also important in the novel as it adds to the atmosphere. For instance on a ‘dreary night of November’ (p38 Frankenstein) the creature is born and during ‘a heavy storm of rain’ where the wind ‘rose with great violence’ (p164 Frankenstein) Elizabeth is murdered. The connection between the two is that the reader can sense when something bad/traumatic is going to happen due to the weather alone. However doom and gloomy weather does not fill the entire novel. When Spring is present the creature feels ‘emotions of gentleness and pleasure, that had long appeared dead, revive within [him]. Half...

... middle of paper ... the readers emotions through figurative language for example the tone of the creatures narrative is very sullen, therefore when those sections are read we feel his sadness and understand the suffering he has went through which causes us to sympathise with him. Gothic and realistic techniques give the sense of realism. The combination of all of the above techniques used to write Frankenstein has produced a novel that evokes our moral judgements and sympathy.


The Open University (2006), Approaching Literature, The Realist Novel, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

The Open University (2006), Approaching Literature, Approaching Prose Fiction, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Oxford 1998

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how mary shelley's novel frankenstein is a gothic novel that contains two genres, science fiction and gothicism. she uses foreshadowing to entice readers into her suspenseful novel.
  • Analyzes how the weather adds to the atmosphere in frankenstein. doom and gloomy weather do not fill the entire novel.
  • Analyzes how walton discusses his adventures to his sister, margaret, through letters. the epistolary style adds realism to the story as it provides different viewpoints and multiple narratives.
  • Analyzes how walton's second letter shows the reader his sense of loss and loneliness, as he has no friends aboard the vessel.
  • Analyzes how in chapter 5, frankenstein narrates and we see the world through his eyes. we are enticed to feel sympathy towards the creature as he had worked hard for several years on his creation.
  • Analyzes how readers' sympathy jumps from character to character, even those who don't play a major role in the novel. caroline overcomes her father's death by adopting elizabeth and justine.
  • Analyzes how the reader sympathizes with justine as she was wrongly accused of murdering william and sentenced to death. frankenstein could have saved her life, but decided against it.
  • Analyzes how victor's harsh words are uncalled for as he is classed as his father, yet rejects him the moment the creature takes his first breath.
  • Analyzes how the creature tries to gain acceptance when he comes across the de lacy family. he hides outside and watches the family, and learns to speak and read.
  • Analyzes how the creature's loneliness plays an important part of the readers' sympathetic views. he produces a strong argument here.
  • Analyzes how frankenstein's imagery makes the reader feel his pain and suffering. sympathy towards the creature is enhanced.
  • Analyzes how frankenstein's murders of william, clerval and elizabeth were not done for his own pleasure, but because he denied him his right to have a father, and because of his innocence and how society wrongly treated him, the reader felt sympathy rather than hatred.
  • Analyzes how even the creature's creator, frankenstein, feels sympathy towards him even though he loathes his creation.
  • Analyzes how the creature longs for a female partner and asks frankenstein to create another being like himself.
  • Opines that the creature deserves the readers' sympathy because he was mistreated and rejected from day one.
  • Opines that the saddest part of the novel is at the very end where the creature decides that he ‘shall die, and what [he] now feel be no longer felt’.
  • Analyzes how by the end of the novel the reader feels sympathy for all three main characters, as walton doesn't make it to the north pole, frankenstein fails to destroy the creature, and remains alone.
  • Analyzes how shelley arouses the readers emotions through figurative language. gothic and realistic techniques give the sense of realism.

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