Essay How Does Mary Shelley Craft The Opening Of Frankenstein

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In what ways and with what effect, does Mary Shelley craft the opening of “Frankenstein”? Shelley crafts the opening of “Frankenstein” with great effect and drama. She forms the narrative in a way which is highly unique especially for the time in which it was written. The sense of mystery and suspense which is already highly palpable in the first few pages give testimony to the genius of the way in which Shelley constructs the opening of “Frankenstein”. Yet how is Shelley able to achieve this, and in with what effect does she begin her novel? Shelley begins the novel with a preface. The preface conveys the message that “Frankenstein” is not merely crafted to provide entertainment but instead to capture and identify “the truth of the elementary principles of human nature”. Shelley…show more content…
Shelley uses the first letter not only to set the scene but also to provide an introduction into Walton’s character. However, Shelley uses the next three letters to introduce two highly important themes into the novel. The first theme which is introduced is that of loneliness and loss. Walton feels the sensation of loneliness as he has no friends to accompany him on his voyage, “I bitterly feel the want of a friend”. Shelley explores this theme in depth later on in the novel in regards to Frankenstein’s monster. Furthermore, Shelley introduces into the fourth letter, the theme which is probably the most prevalent in the novel: the danger of too much knowledge, “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you.”, Shelley compares this to Walton’s similar thirst for knowledge, “What may not be expected in a country of eternal light?”. The fact that Shelley opens the novel with the introduction of two important themes is to create a foreboding and suspenseful effect which interests and hooks the

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