Frankenstein Ch. 5/6 Lecture (2023)



Okay, guys, um, I am gonna talk to you about chapters, five and six as quickly as I can okay.

Chapter five is super important because it's kind of like the turning point for a victor in his whole story, at least an initial turning point because he actually succeeds at creating the monster.

So in this beginning of the chapter, this is the part I told you guys about before where you get very little description of what the monster looks like.

This is really it right here.


He it says, his limbs are in proportion.

He had selected.

His features is beautiful originally when he was putting him together from various body parts, he was assuming that he would look just like any human being.

But to his astonishment, as this thing kind of comes to life, he realizes, whoa.

This thing doesn't, look, really human.

It just looks like a combination of random parts from different bodies.

But it doesn't make a very nice-looking human.

So his yellow, skin hair, that's, lustrous and black that flows, meaning, it's implying.

He has longer hair.

He does have pearly white teeth.

But in combination with everything else, he just looks horrific, um watery eyes that seem almost the color that seem almost the same color as the dun white sockets that they're set in in a shriveled complexion with straight black lips.

So you know, it's very different from what we get in our popular culture world, where we talked about the poster on my wall, he's, actually a human being, you know, his head is from someone's body.

And then his other body parts are from other bodies.

So he's a compilation of human parts.

Part of the symbolism in his description of him is that probably he's not as ugly as he describes.

But yet Victor is so disgusted with himself that now that he realizes what he's done the creature or monster, just looks so bad to him.

You know, he may not in reality.

Look that bad it's, just his exaggerated emotion right now, um, yeah, he's, not like he's, an ugly looking thing, but he's, not horrific probably like Viktor is interpreting it because he's so horrified his own actions.

It's just magnifying it.

Anyway, um.

So the big thing about Chapter, five that's.

So important now is Viktor.

When he sees, this monster come to life.

He abandons it.

He runs away and leaves it and it's, the whole idea of abandoning his own creation.

As if he were a parent that gave birth to a child, and then abandonment.

Because the child was too ugly and that's that's.

Really what.

It boils down to here Viktor in this chapter is now presenting himself as a very cowardly.

And you know, fearful man that is not taking responsibility for the actions that he is committed.

And that is the big sort of hinging theme that Mary Shelley wants you to get out of this book or her readers.

You know, at the time, if you're gonna play around with science and you're going to take the risks to experiment with this, kind of thing then you have to take responsibility for the outcome.

Any consequences and Viktor has not obviously done that so so that's the main purpose of this chapter is to sort of establish the fact that that has happened so at this point, we don't, know, where the monster is when Victor returns back to his apartment? He's gone and you're, not gonna find out where he's been for a while, but we just know that he's obviously gone somewhere, because when Victor gets back he's, not there, the meantime Henry comes to see Victor.

And it is kind of coming to like find out where have you been.

You know, we haven't seen you in a couple years and Victor is so horrified at what he's done.

He literally physically gets so ill.

He falls out and took almost like a sort of coma for an extended period of time.

Several weeks and Henry is there to kind of nurse him back to health.

So there comes Henry.

The selfless friend that is clueless about what Victor has done and is there to sort of pick him up and nurse him back to health.

So at the end of the chapter it's, just you know, kind of leaves it with Vic with Henry, sort of promising I will help you with whatever is you're dealing with, you know, whatever it is I'm here for you that kind of thing, but obviously never dreaming.

What Victor has been involved with that I want you to notice is in this chapter we're kind of tapping into some of those romantic traits that you guys have learned about in the slides, both romantic and gothic traces like the epitome of a gothic scene here, notice that at the beginning of the chapter look when this takes place its dreary it's at night, it's in November that this monster comes to life, you know, if it were a beautiful spring morning that just wouldn't make sense.

So one thing I want you guys to pay attention to throughout the rest of the book is how nature and the description of setting mirrors, Victor's emotions and what's happening at those moments in the book when it is a very terrible time in his life, usually it's wintertime or turning winter and leaves are decaying and things are not green anymore.

You know, representative of obviously things dying and decaying.

And then when victor is up and has some false hope or confidence, or he thinks things are turning around you'll, see that weather is described as being sunny or in the springtime or beautiful and romantics tend to do that and they're writing.

They tend to parallel how nature can be very inspiring and healing when times are good.

And then how nature is very destructive and forceful and gloomy when times are bad.

So writers tend to mirror the weather as an indication of the mood of the scene.

So that kind of goes along with the little video on the Gothic that the girl told you about the word metonymy.

And it was on your little test that you had over your notes it's like the way that a narrator, instead of having to explain in words, the weather does it for you same thing in a film instead of having a narrator, tell you what the moods supposed to be like or describe it you're seeing so a funeral scene is often done on a rainy jury day in movies and that's, metonymy, it's it's, a replacement for the need to explain something by doing it in a very brief and succinct way.

And in books it's done a lot of times you're setting.

So in chapter 6, continuing on so Henry brings Victor a letter from Elizabeth and she's, just kind of, you know, hey, what's going on where have you been? Um, we're worried about you wanted to let, you know, our good friend Justine that grew up with us has moved back with us.

She is tending to the children and kind of serving as a little nanny, just kind of wanted you to know what you're thinking of you, and where have you been? And you can tell that she's feeling sort of neglected, and so it makes Victor feel guilty, right? Um, I'm.

Sorry, I forgot to advance to Chapter six, um, you know, it makes it makes him feel guilty, of course, and he's starting then again to grapple with his guilt.

So you've seen in the chapter so far that we've read where he's constant tormented, he's constantly grappling with what he's done and how awful he knows this whole thing is.

But yet he just can't help himself.

And now he's abandoned this thing that's out there that probably needs somebody to help it and he's got that guilt to deal with and the guilt of his abandonment of his family.

So now you can see a theme developing here and a little, you know, a motif, remember mini theme of abandonment you're gonna see time and time again, Viktor runs away from his problems.

He abandons his problems.

He abandons people by not expected, accepting responsibility for his actions.

So here you're seeing that again, and he struggles with it and internally, but doesn't do anything about it.

So, um anyway, so that is kind of the gist of the importance of chapter six.

But he then in the chapter, you know, Henry continues to nurse them back to health.

If you noticed later in the chapter as Henry is sorry, as Viktor is getting better.

His health is sort of mirroring.

The seasons.

Once again, summer passed away in these occupations.

And my return to geuman Geneva was fixed for the latter end of autumn.

So as summer came around, Viktor started feeling better, you know there the weather was mirroring, his heightened spirits and kind of starting to forget about what he had done Henry was kind of making him feel better making him sort of forget and it.

And so many weeks had gone by that Victor's thinking, oh, maybe this thing's gone and I don't have to deal with it.

So, um, one thing to note, though is it towards the end of this chapter Viktor has a chance to go home.

And he kind of makes some excuses maybe I shouldn't, go home because the weather isn't that isn't good enough and it's too hard to navigate through snow and ice.

And then Henry's like let's, take a trip together before you go home, you've been through a lot and Victor jumps on that.

So in these last few paragraphs here at the end, you can see, again, he's avoiding facing reality by going home and kind of having to explain to his family where he's been and what he's been doing.

So he and Henry go on this little trip together before he heads on back home to Geneva after two years, right.

So, and he says, we went a fortnight into these pre emulations, my health and spirit had long been restored.

And you know, by the way a fortnight is two weeks.

So you know, avoidance, again, that sort of theme of avoidance and running away.

So he ends with fear feeling.

His spirits are high and bounding along with feelings of unbridled joy and hilarity.

This false sense of hope and confidence that maybe he won't have to deal with this monster.

He created and things are gonna be okay.

And we know as we've seen with every chapter something at the end of the chapter is said to hint to us that foreshadow that it's just not going to be all good that this is gonna lead to something bad.

So this is kind of that moment right here at the end where he lets us know, obviously his high spirits can't last that long something's about to happen so that's about it.


What is the main idea of Chapter 5 Frankenstein? ›

In chapter 5 of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor has finally finished his scientific creation. He has put together a human body from various parts, but when he animates the creature, it is not at all what he was expecting. His joy reduced to horror, Victor can do nothing but contemplate his atrocity.

What is a short summary of Frankenstein Chapter 6? ›

Summary: Chapter 6

Elizabeth's letter expresses her concern about Victor's illness and entreats him to write to his family in Geneva as soon as he can. She also tells him that Justine Moritz, a girl who used to live with the Frankenstein family, has returned to their house following her mother's death.

Who sends Victor a letter in Chapter 6? ›

In Chapter 6 of Frankenstein, Victor receives a letter from Elizabeth detailing how his family and close friends have been recently. Victor also agrees to study languages with his good friend Henry.

What is the most important event that happened in Chapter 5 Frankenstein? ›

One of the most significant things that happen in Chapter 5 is not just the creature coming to life, but how Victor Frankenstein reacts to his creature. He has put an extraordinary amount of work into creating this being, but what does Frankenstein do after his creature comes to life? He immediately abandons him.

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