Essays On Mary Shelley'S Frankenstein

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The narrative structure thus problematises any interpretation of language as straightforward and individually assigned and distinct.

A study of Frankenstein as a gothic novel would introduce readings of cultural binaries, where the juxtaposition of normal and human with monstrous and inhuman would suggest that the creature’s voice was intended to sharpen these distinctions.

The monster’s voice is largely heard through his petition to the one who seeks his ruin, and even the reliability of Walton’s tale is mediated and arguably jeopardised by his earnest desire for friendship and his wish that Victor would fulfil that role.

Noticeably, the voice of the creature appears identical in both Walton’s account of Victor’s story and of Walton’s narration of his own encounter with the creature.

Even the very epistolary nature of the text itself is fraught with tension, as the final pages reveal the letter-writing to align itself more closely with journal entries, with the poetic ending to the text neglecting either a form of signing off to the reader or a self-reflexive ending common to diary entries.

This makes us question whether Walton’s sister, Margaret, was indeed the intended reader of the entire narrative, which notably and often conceals the letter-writing format to allow the action of the narrative to take precedence.

Likewise, Frankenstein destroys the female being that he is creating, after gazing upon the monster’s distorted features and being consumed by a fit of passion.

The monster’s articulate powers of persuasion are thus rendered subservient to sight, which takes precedence over a convincingly human-sounding tongue.

(Shelley, 1993: 187) However, Walton can only register the persuasiveness of the monster’s words whilst he is neglecting the sensation of sight.

To sustain communication with the creature, he must avert his eyes, for as soon as his eyes encounter the deformed being, his indignation returns and his sympathy dissolves.


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