Contained in the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly, is the twisted substance of greed, the character Victor Frankenstein portrays the element of control. Felling the need for this he ‘builds’ an entirely new breed of creature, without thinking much for the consequences. During the time in which this novel was written, there was a great surge in the realms of science. Many new discoveries were made and scientists were taking more and more dangerous risks in the hope of opening the door on the unknown.
In my view, Shelly had written this novel as more of a warning than a story. I believe that she was trying to impose responsibility upon the scientists for what it was they were meddling with and also to try and persuade them to think before they act. Shelly demonstrates these emotions through two characters, Frankenstein and the creation. Each character gets the opportunity to express their feelings and tell their stories in the novel.
The first character that has the opportunity to tell their story is Frankenstein, in chapter 5.
Shelly sets the scene with close attention to the weather, “It was on a dreary night of November” here Shelly is using pathetic fallacy to reflect the mood. The same is evident in chapter 11, when the creature is telling his story, “It was dark when I awoke; I felt cold also” These descriptions of the weather and the environment around them reflect their moods. Frankenstein feels worn down and tired as is reflected by Shelly’s use of the word ‘dreary’.
The creature on the other hand feels cold and alone as reflected by ‘dark’ and ‘cold’.
This contrast shows us a big difference in their relationship. Frankenstein remembers the night as being tiring and an effort, the creature however feels a child-like sense of isolation, as if he was without love or companion, this is adverse to practical thought, one would normally perceive that Frankenstein would adore and love his creation after all the effort and hard work he had gone through to create him. Frankenstein spends much of chapter 5 talking about himself and only himself, “I rushed out of the room”, “I had desired it”, “I had finished” and “I had created”.
The vast majority of his story begins each sentence with the personal pronoun, ‘I’. This gives us the impression that he is very self obsessed and does not give much thought to other events happening around him, in particular the creature. He describes the creature, “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe” but he never gives any thought to mortality or the aesthetics of the creature or the responsibility it will impose upon him.
It is as if he feels the creature will owe him a life time of gratitude and service and that the creature will be his possession to command, this relates back to Frankenstein’s craving for power. This is much the contrary to the creature’s account; he spends the bulk of chapter 11 describing his surroundings and what is going on around him. “I gazed with a kind of wonder” despite he still uses the pronoun, “I” in this quotation, he is describing the world around him and is not describing himself.
It is also filling the creature with joy, much unlike the when Frankenstein describes the creature, “His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath”. One obvious similarity between the two chapters is that both characters are aiming to persuade and both use persuasive language as much as possible. Frankenstein uses it to justify his actions, “Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance” whereas the creature uses it to provoke sympathy, “poor, helpless, miserable wretch” and “I sat down and wept”.