Frankenstein language, vocabulary and style

A    Letters

Like bookends begin and end the story


B    Emotional style

Adopted by all three narrators – passions are always extreme – we see others through:


Descriptive language – adjectives and adverbs all intensify feelings’

Metaphors and similes – Shelley compares her characters to other things: Victor as a ‘gallant vessel’ his passion for science to a ‘mountain river…

Contrasts – Victor’s fascination for science: his ‘imagination‘ is ‘exalted‘ and he is ‘animated by an almost unnatural enthusiasm‘ but he is filled with ‘agony‘, ‘sensations of horror‘ and ‘heart sickening despair‘ when he realises the consequences of his work.

Rhetorical language – use of repetition to build an emotional climax: Victor’s mind is ‘filled with one thought, one conception, one purpose,‘; using different types of sentence to create different moods, ‘do you not feel your blood congeal with horror like that which even curdles like mine?‘ or ‘ Abhorred monster! Fiend that thou art!’


C    Images and Symbols

  • Hands
  • Birth and death
  • Moon and storms
  • Books
  • Windows
  • Heaven and hell


D    Irony

(See Shelley’s purposes)


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