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Vol. 2 younger person

December 1, 2014

Granted Mary Shelley had married and already lost a child by the time she had published Frankenstein, but parts of the novel’s language sound like that of a younger person.  Specifically, many of the sentences use extreme terms.  For example, Victor claims “nothing is more painful” (64), and his “heart overflowed” (65) and his father’s advice for his grieving son is “totally inapplicable” (65) [emphasis added].  I wonder if such extreme language tells us more about Victor or Mary Shelley.

  1. Peyton H permalink

    I think that when ever an author produces a work there is a hidden piece of their self in their work. One can not just simply remove their own feelings when writing, I believe that letting our feelings shine through into our work in important. It adds dimension to the stories and allows the reader to question exactly what you have questioned here, is the language talking about just the characters or more? In Frankenstein Mary Shelley’s young language enhances the story and really tells both Doctor Frankenstein’s tale and some of her own. Both of their lives are full of such heavy emotion and this language (heart overflowed and nothing) is so strong and young that I think it talks to both Shelley and Frankenstein. Having Shelley’s tale and own feelings in the story is important and it not only gives the story more dimension it really gives the reader more to think about.

    • What more does this particular aspect of her language give readers to think about? Can you offer a quote that illustrates your answer? Incidentally, thank you for this comment on Volume 2, but please post your thoughts on one of the questions about Volume 1. Thank you.

      • Peyton H permalink

        Her language makes me more intrigued on my she choose to write this book, I remember you telling us before break that the idea for this book came to her while she was playing a writing game with some friends. Though I wonder why she chose as a youngish woman to write as mysterious and monstrous of a book as this one is. I partly believe this is due to the lost of her child and maybe after going through a dark time herself she chose to illustrate that through a book. This combined with the young language really gives her as a writer another dimension, a young FEMALE writer who as gone through an extreme loss who is writing a story about a monstrous topic. That mixture would not have been an everyday occurrence and the young language with such a monstrous story wouldn’t have been one either. One line that I think really expresses this is “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe”

      • Where do you find this quote that ends your post? Which chapter, or which page? Your first sentence indicates a need to proofread before posting. For example, I assume that instead of “my” you mean “why.” Other sentences contain similar oversights. Grammatical issues aside, her content and tone for this novel grows partly from the gothic style of other writers during that time. “It was a dark and stormy night . . . “–that sort of thing.

  2. Sara Brumbeloe permalink

    I agree with Peyton’s comment that essentially author’s tend to include part’s of himself or herself in their work, whether it is intentional or not. Mary Shelley, on the other hand, has a unique writing style that may or may not be related to the loss of her child. In fact, Mary Shelley could potentially be relating the death of her daughter and the death of Elizabeth. In Volume 2, she talks about how she “…thirsted for the moment…” (65) she can put her intentions regarding death into use. In this case, “thirsted” would be an extreme term that sounds like a younger person. Furthermore, I think most of this language tells us about both Mary Shelley and Victor, showing us the relations between Victor losing Elizabeth and Mary Shelley losing her child, and how they both cope.

    • The word “Peyton’s” needs an apostrophe to show possession, but since “authors” and “parts” are both plural, they do not. As for the content of your comment, I am not sure how to read the idea of “put he intentions regarding death to use.” Can you help us understand what this phrase means?

      • Sara Brumbeloe permalink

        That infers that Mary Shelley has specific opinions of death that she intends to apply to the death of Elizabeth while writing the book.

      • OK, thank you. In the start of your sentence, I presume you mean “implies” rather than “infers.”

  3. Helaina Theos permalink

    I believe that when someone writes a novel or a piece of literature their influences and what they believe in are incorporated in the piece. People can change when certain events happen in their life. I think the language in the book tells us about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein. Mary Shelley had been through such a horrible experience of losing her child that she poured her emotions into the novel. These heightened emotions made her seem younger. Through her language in the novel she also made Frankenstein have these extreme emotions. For example, when Frankenstein says, “I consent to your demand, on your solemn oath to quit Europe for ever, and every other place in the neighborhood of man, as soon as I shall deliver not your hands a female who will accompany you in your exile.” Frankenstein is expressing his belief that if he creates a woman monster for the monster then the both of them shall never return to human civilization. Frankenstein uses exaggerated vocabulary to express his opinion. I believe this is because Mary Shelley had strong emotions that she portrayed through him.

    • Heightened emotions made her seem younger–there’s an intriguing idea. The older the person the more controlled or modulated the emotions? Not that we don’t feel them, just that we are more likely to keep them from becoming heightened? I think I agree, but caution that we can still feel emotions, and sometimes intensely.

  4. I agree with Peyton that the heartfelt language speaks to Shelley and Frankenstein, but I believe that it speaks even more to Shelley. Shelley creates the character of Frankenstein, so while the language does affect the reader’s interpretation of the character, Shelley is the only creating that sense of emotion. When writing a novel, a writer must have some inspiration and it was the extreme level of emotion and inspiration that allowed Shelley to create such an interesting novel. The passion she had for what she was writing, allowed her to show that passion through her characters. The sentence “My heart beat quick; this was the hour and moment of trail, which would decide my hopes, or realize my fears” (101), demonstrates how Shelley’s strong emotion can emerge in her characters.

    • Moment of trial, I assume you mean. I like this quote because it uses the twin ideas of hopes and fears. For my money, a person’s hopes and fears are a large window on the core of her person, whether or not she is a published author. When meeting with parents about their children, I try to understand the parents’ hopes and fears. In a sense, Victor is a parent to his creature. He made the creature. I wonder what he was hoping as he produced this creature.

  5. Riley Young permalink

    I definitely think that Mary Shelley’s language in Volume 2 is telling a bigger story than the book itself. I agree with Peyton in the aspect hidden meanings are in everyone’s work because you can’t completely be unbiased. For example, on page 91, there is quote that says, “..the animated smiles of the charming Arabian, were not for me.” She may unconsciously be speaking about her lost baby. This allows readers to further understand her point of view when writing this particular piece and also sympathize with her situation.

    • A little more context for this passage would help us understand the speaker’s meaning. Who is speaking? And what are the circumstances? Context supplied by answers to such questions will make it clearer what is meant by the “smiles . . . were not for me.”

  6. Brent permalink

    I think the extreme language tells us more about Mary Shelley than Victor. She may be describing how victor feels and sees but it is really how she is personally doing. “I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend” (73). Mary is describing how she felt after she had lost her child. It may seem like she is talking through a character but she is letting out her emotions. The readers are able to feel more involved in the story and how it was written knowing about how she feels.

    • So if misery makes Victor a fiend, can we say the same thing about the creature? His fiendish, monstrous acts grow out of his misery. If so, is Victor responsible for the misery of his creation?

  7. While she had already married and lost a child by the time she wrote this text, Shelly might change her language because of the youth of her monster. I agree that the language sounds like it comes from a younger person. On page 113 Shelly shows her characters youthful thoughts, “My evil passions will have fled for i shall meet with sympathy; my life will flow quietly away, and, in my dying moments, i shall not curse my maker.” This language mimics the ‘youthful’ emphasizes you gave with the prompt. ‘Flow quietly away’ This extreme language could be used intentionally to show the youth of her monster. However, it may also be used because of Shelly’s grief and pain for her lost child. By making her characters speak with youthful emphasizes, Shelly may be writing in the tones that she spoke to her child in.

    • “Emphases” is the plural of “emphasis.” You raise an interesting concept–of the creature starting as a young being. To be sure, he ages relatively quickly.

  8. Sam Warley permalink

    I think that the novel’s language used by Mary Shelley does in fact sound like that of a younger person because of the extreme terms and the exaggerated emotional feelings. For example, Victor says that, “I (victor) could mention innumerable instances… (84)” This exaggeration seems to bring about a younger approach to everyday encounters. Also, Shelley has Victor say that, “I cannot describe the delight I felt when I learned the ideas appropriated to each of these sounds, and was able to pronounce them. (83)” Although this thought may be normal at first glance, it may bring about a deeper reality about Shelley due to the contextual information surrounding this. This context brings references about finally being able to understand or apply simple words of concepts. In addition to this, the sentence, “When night came, I quitted my retreat, and wandered in the wood; and now, no longer restrained by the fear of discovery. (104)” This sentence brings about an idea that is usually taken on fully by younger people; no fear of discovery. Much like the other quotes by Victor, this extreme language may show more about the nature of Shelley then of Victor. This idea of the language sounding like a younger person is very interesting to me because I didn’t notice it until now. Because of this, I will think about my reading in a different way and I will try and see the parallel ideas that could refer to Shelley or Victor. I wonder if some of the thoughts that Shelley had about life will show through into Victor as a character throughout the rest of the novel.

    • I imagine that Shelley’s thoughts will continue to shine through her story. As we learn more about her biography, we become more able to find some of these thoughts. I like your last passage that connects the creature’s mindset to that of a child. “You can’t see me,” I hear a child say as he covers his face with his hands. Oh yes we can. We’re watching you. Incidentally, the convention for including quotes in your own prose prescribes this sequence at the end of a sentence: ” . . . fear of discovery” (104).

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