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Chapter five of Frankenstein is possibly the principle climax of the book; the monster, after long anticipation, is finally created. Written in first person narrative, as is the rest of the book, the tone of the narrative alters from storytelling about Victor’s idyllic childhood, to darkness, guilt and despair. Shelley uses pathetic fallocy to highlight the weather’s importance within this scene and Victor’s use of lightning to create the ‘monster’. Personification is also used to describe the sky; it leads the reader to believe that it is desolate, austere and bleak.

Unlike scene one when Victor spoke of his blissful childhood and how he owed his happiness in life to his parents, he now fails to recognise that he should care for his creation and act as a parent figure. Shelley’s use of irony is very noticeable in this chapter. It could be compared to Wilde’s character of Dorian Gray. Dorian is a respectable, beautiful young man, but is easily corrupted by Lord Henry. It’s almost as if he did create Dorian, but he only formed the corrupt side of his personality, and encouraged him to pursue evil.

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Although Victor did not promote the monster towards pursuing evil, dismissing it and cutting it off from support and comfort led him to commit awful crimes. The language and style in Frankenstein is in contrast to The Picture of Dorian Gray. There are many key images within Frankenstein, one of these being the recurrent use of hand gestures. Characters in the play hold their hands over their faces when confronted with the monster; this could suggest Victor’s denial of his responsibilities of his self-denial of his own monstrosity. An outstretched hand has the potential to symbolise the longing for human contact.

This technique is often used in conjunction with the monster which represents his loneliness and need for support from humans. The structure of Shelley’s novel is very simplistic. Events are written logically, and although not in chronological order, they are easy to follow and straight forward to read. This emphasises her scientific mind, she writes almost following a formula. Flashbacks are used to portray the influence the past has on the present, which proves very effective. The story is written in Chinese-box narration, each story is enfolded within another story.

The letters are very important in Frankenstein as it makes the storyline reasonable apparent before it begins; it sets the scene and introduces the gothic themes and tension. Wilde’s novel is reasonably different. Although events are in sequential order, clever limericks are used frequently throughout which could be seen to deter the reader away from the plot. There is a set of notes as the preface of The Picture of Dorian Gray, the most important reading ‘There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book; they are either written well, or written badly.

‘Oscar Wilde was wildly criticised for his writing and critics openly mocked his work, calling it immoral. The set of notes before the book begins could have been written purely for their behalf, to take a stand, and prove them wrong. In conclusion, the nineteenth century had an unbelievable affect on the writing of Mary Shelley and similarly Oscar Wilde. The progressions in science and in psychology were tremendous and although influences were found elsewhere for the authors, the most prominent were the developments and advancements of their societies.

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Kylie Garcia

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