Analysis On Frankenstein By Mary Shelley
30 October 2019
Literary Analysis: Frankenstein
I have chosen to write my literary analysis on Marry Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. It was published in 1818 and falls under the genre of gothic fiction as it combines the aspects of horror and mystery. The novel has been adopted by various TV shows, movies and more. The historical and cultural article I've chosen gives me insight into why Mary Shelley had chosen to write Frankenstein, and that is because Shelley got the idea of writing this story in her dream one night. Moreover, her trauma also served as a motivation for telling this ghost story. "She was also energized by a series of personal traumas that fueled her feverish story". In this essay, I will be analyzing the characters, organization, structure, and diction all in the novel Frankenstein.
In the first paragraph, we are going to literary analyze and discuss two characters in Frankenstein. Let’s start with the protagonist Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein, while studying in Ingolstadt discovers the secrets of life and creates a monster which is the antagonist. Victor is so immensely disgusted with what he has created and decides to keep his creation a secret. He names his new creation Frankenstein, and due to Victor’s ignorance, Frankenstein turns into a monster. “Victor Frankenstein is both Prometheus pyrophoric, the Titan who stole fire from the gods and delivered it to humans, and Prometheus passivator, “said to have created or recreated mankind,” often with the same fire, “by animating a figure made of clay” (McQueen 123). Now onto discussing the antagonist, none other than “The Monster”. The imagery the author gives us on the monster does not give us a pretty sight. The monster is very tall and ugly looking that Victor gets disgusted by his presence. However, the readers can analyze the monster's sensitivity and intelligence and start to feel for him. The monster tried his best to connect with humanity constantly getting shut down “I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous” (Shelley 50). The monster does not take the situation well and swears revenge against his creator murdering people on the way, “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” (Shelley 50).
Next, I am going to analyze the structure and organization of Frankenstein. It has 3 different narrators throughout the novel and this is known as a multi-strand narrative. The three narrators are "Robert Walton", "Victor Frankenstein", and "the monster". This story is mainly told through letters which are also known as "epistolary narration". It is easy yet complicated to recognize these types of narratives in the story. The text includes the date in which the letters were written where the reader can pick up on that, but when this switches between multiple different narrator's things become a bit more difficult to understand. Frankenstein is known for its complex narrative structures. However, writing a story following this structure makes things more suspenseful and interesting. The narratives are interlinked so by the end the reader should have a full understanding of the messages that are given through this story. I believe without the epistolary technique; Frankenstein would not appeal the readers. I enjoyed decoding the complex bits of this story, and I am sure other readers can agree on this.
For my final paragraph, I will analyze the diction, in other words, word choice within Frankenstein. Mary Shelley uses all types of diction throughout the story such as formal diction, informal diction, and colloquial diction. She also used a high level of vocabulary, especially when the monster is telling the story. "Thus, I relieve thee, creator," he said, and placed his hated hands before my eyes, which I flung from me with violence; "thus I take from thee a sight which you abhor. Still though cant listen to me and grant me thy compassion," (Shelley 62) That quote is a great example of "formal diction" for it contains "fancy" words like "thus", "thee", and "thy. Mary Shelley's diction within Frankenstein also heightens fear for the reader, such as using words like “horrid” and “wretch”. Moreover, the diction employed by Shelley also reveals the tyranny of human nature and lust for power. The words such as “creation”, “bestowing” represent man’s overreaching ambition and his desire to become a demigod. Good job Mary Shelley you officially freaked out your reader with your word choices. Not only does diction control “word choice” it also enhances imagery within a story as well, especially here in Frankenstein.
In conclusion, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is an interesting book. The characters in the story are all so fascinating, especially the two main ones I wrote about "Victor Frankenstein" and "The monster". The organization and structure Mary Shelley provided for this book was also a very neat way to tell this horrific story. Then for my final paragraph, Mary Shelley's diction/word choice enhanced the story all around, without her ghoulish words and formal dictions this story would not nearly be as creepy and meaningful.
“Literary Analysis: Using Elements of Literature.” Roane State Community College, www.roanestate.edu/owl/ElementsLit.html.
“Mary Shelley's ‘Frankenstein.’” Origins, Stephen Kern, Mar. 2018, origins.osu.edu/milestones/march-2018-mary-shelleys-frankenstein.
McQueen, Sean. “Biocapitalism and Schizophrenia: Rethinking the Frankenstein Barrier.” JSTOR, SF-TH Inc, Mar. 2014
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, 1818. Print
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