Throughout ‘Frankenstein’, a novel by Mary Shelley, numerous literary devices are employed to create intended effect. The quotation above encapsulates the whole passage when Victor’s creation finally is complete. However, his scientific obsession seems to be a dream that ends with the creature’s birth. As soon as his creature comes to life, Victor is filled with intense revulsion. Victor realises that his dreams have gone badly wrong when he awakens at the same moment the creature awakens, the moment the creature’s eyes open.
The passage utilises various literary devices, such as setting, alliteration, tone and other language devices that are put into the novel to allow the reader to gain better understanding of Victor’s thoughts on his creation. The tone and shifts in tone throughout the passage are integrated so the reader is able to understand the mind state that Victor is in. Additionally, this passage furthers our understanding of the characters by the description of their thoughts and their actions. The author uses tone to express Victor’s remorse feelings in this passage.
It can be assumed that the tone has just shifted due to the birth of Victor’s creation “I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs” There are shifts in tone that do occur; nevertheless, there is an overall tone of suspense and agitated to the passage. “… With such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured… ” The use of heavy and separate words is to emphasize Victor’s hard work. There is a tone of regret and fear in which he seems to blame the creature. The setting and imagery of this chapter is contributed to the author’s main concern.
The use of imagery such as ‘rain’ and ‘candle’ creates a dark and evil suspense. The passage also seems to centre on the use of setting to provoke in the reader a specific emotion “It was on a dreary night of November” at the very start of the chapter to give the reader a sense of suspense. It also effectively creates the bleak and foreboding atmosphere with such sentences “The dim and yellow light of the moon, as it forced its way through the shutters… ” This sentence communicates to the reader a sense of danger and intends to create suspense. ‘Yellow’ is represented as the creation’s eyes, which seem to be sickly and unhealthy.
The author also uses the word ‘forced’ as an intrusive word to makes the moon seem to be aggressive and unwanted. It is significant hat Victor dreams of Elizabeth and his mother, as women in which they are capable of creation through giving birth “… I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death… ” and with their deaths, it symbolises that their natural creation dies as well. The use of alliteration to convey the enormity of Victor’s remorse is an effective way to evoke in the reader an uneasy reaction towards the birth of the creature.
For instance, “With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony… ” Each assonance of ‘a’ is very harsh to covey his enormous anxiety. The narrator’s sentences become abbreviated, indicating Victor’s nervous and paranoid state – “Beautiful! Great God! ” – the exclamation marks emphasize the horror and the heavy thud sounds gasping with horror. The reader realise that the creature is not beautiful. This again, alliteration is used as an dramatising irony to Victor’s creation. The author depicts the creature as a ‘miserable monster’, which implies that it is a creature of evil.
When the creature initially awakens, he is entirely benevolent: he reaches out to Victor. Despite his ugly appearance, he is as innocent as a newly born child, which is precisely what he is. “He muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks” As the creature is like a newborn baby, it is unable to speak any word to Victor. The grin indicates the creature’s happiness, friendship and a sincere smile. The reader realise that the creature wants to thank to Frankenstein. However, Victor dismisses the creature’s sincere.
Throughout the passage, Shelley successfully intertwines literary devices to portray the reader as well as to convey us the consequences of playing God with science. Tone, imagery and setting is used to create a suspense atmosphere as well as suggest that there may be consequences to come. Other devices such as alliteration is used to emphasize and suggest the reader that things do not always achieve according to plan and we cannot assume that things are going to work out as we wish. It is a combination of devices that the author has been used for the intended effects mentioned.