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Mary Shelley How Does Mary Shelley Create Atmosphere

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Mary Shelley wrote the novel Frankenstein in 1818. This was an era when Romantics; a group of people who believed that you shouldn’t play around with nature. Mary Shelley uses various types of language to create atmosphere throughout the chapter. Shelley uses metaphors such as,’ my candle was nearly burnt out’, This has a double meaning: that his candle is actually burning low on its wick and that Frankenstein has been running out of time and patience while creating the creature, which has led him to exhaustion. This language creates tension as it gives the reader the impression that something spooky or horrifying is going to happen because it sets the scene that Frankenstein is sat in the dark, working on the creature by the light of one small candle; that soon will sizzle out and he will be left in the dark, on his own. Pathetic Fallacy is used by Shelley to set the scene at the beginning of chapter five, such as ‘Dreary night of November’ and ‘Dim yellow light of the moon’ are used because these are classic horror genre conventions and they use imagery to set a picture of how unnatural the moon looks and how dark and scary the dreary night’s sky is.

Shelley uses imagery to give us a picture of Frankenstein and the creations personality. She gives the impression that because Frankenstein has been working so hard on this creation that it is driving him to insanity, this is shown by quotations such as. ’I thought I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms.’ This makes the reader think that the creation is driving him to insanity, and this gives the reader a bad impression of the creation. When Shelley uses emotive language such as ‘Anxiety that almost amounted to agony.’ We start to feel emotion for Frankenstein as he has been working for so long on this creature become obsessed with the creature. He has become obsessed, and worried that his whole life’s work is going to be ruined by him getting caught, as in the novel it is illegal to create life and play around with nature as it was in reality in the era of the Romantics, when science was being criticised for being unnatural. Mary Shelley uses a variety of language techniques to create tension and atmosphere in chapter five.

Before the ‘monster’ comes to life, Shelley describes it as a ‘lifeless thing.’ This gives the impression that the creation will be treated as a nothing when it is ‘born’. Shelley uses a vivid description of the monster to build tension in chapter five.’ his yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of lustrous black. and flowing; his teeth of pearly whiteness; but these luxuriance’s only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes’ that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and his straight black lips.’ This description uses imagery to create the monster in the readers head, Shelley used one complex sentence to describe the monster and she used many semi-colons to add length and pace to the text. In this extract Frankenstein used electricity to bring his monster to life, and Shelley uses the vocabulary such as ‘convulsed’ to show how the creature came to life via electricity. Mary Shelley is repeating the word electricity in this extract.

During this extract Frankenstein calls the monster different names including Catastrophe, Wretch, Beauty, The being, Monster, Demonical corpse, Mummy, Hideous and Ugly. If you noticed he uses contrast by calling him horrible names such as hideous and ugly and then also calls him beauty to add effect. He can do this because he is showing that deep down he has got feelings for the monster but he hates him more. In this extract Mary Shelley uses alliteration such as ‘great god’ and ‘an anxiety that almost amounted to agony.’ He uses alliteration to show how he is feeling. Towards the end of this extract he gets really scared. We can tell this in the story when his says ‘the porter opened the gates of the court, which had that night been my asylum, and I issued into the street into the streets , pacing them with quick steps, as if I sought to avoid the wretch whom I feared every turning of the street would present to my view. I did not dare return to my apartment which I inhabited, but felt impelled to hurry on, although drenched by the rain which poured from a black and comfortless sky.’ This shows that Frankenstein was scared to go inside to the house he inhabited because he knows that there is a monster there.

I think Mary Shelley wrote this story because she wanted to show how growing up with parents/ carers not loving you. In my opinion she showed the world of that time a glimpse of the future. At the moment I am listening to a song sang by Tupac Shakur, Eric Wright, and Ice Cube. ‘Blame it on my momma, I’m a thug n*$%a’ this blends in with my point because it shows his mother did not love him so he turned out to be a bad influence on the world. The monster turned out to be a thing that murdered a lot of people, Tupac Shakur, Eric Wright, and Ice Cube all went to prison. At the end of the story the monster turns out to be dead, again, two of the three rappers are dead.

So for me there are two main morals in just this extract. Number 1; if you make a person out of dead bodies you are not going to be satisfied and you are going to reject. Number two; if you do not love your creation then the creation is going to turn on everything you taught it. Tupac Shakur blames his mom. His dad was never there and probably never knew his dad. Does this sound familiar. The monster had a father but no mother. The father rejected the child and grew up to be a true menace. In the current world not a lot have tried to mess with electricity to make life but a lot of people have not taken notice of morale number two and some people do not care what their children do so their children grow up to be not very nice people. I am lucky because my mum and dad care. They paid attention to morale number two.

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