Analysis Pages

Tone in Frankenstein

Tone Examples in Frankenstein:

Chapter I

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"On the evening previous to her being brought to my home, my mother had said playfully,—“I have a pretty present for my Victor—to-morrow he shall have it...."   (Chapter I)

Notice the strange role Frankenstein’s mother plays in his love life. She gives Elizabeth to Victor as if she were a toy or an inanimate object. This has been read by some scholars through a Freudian lens in which Elizabeth comes to stand for Victor’s obsession with his mother. If nothing else, the strange involvement of his mother and sense of possessive ownership that Victor has over Elizabeth creates an unsettling tone for their relationship over the novel.

"My own spirits were high, and I bounded along with feelings of unbridled joy and hilarity...."   (Chapter VI)

The tone of this chapter starkly contrasts the grotesque description and mood of the previous chapter. Victor’s levity and joy after the dark mood he expressed in the previous chapter might surprise the reader. This chapter marks a moment in the novel in which Victor tries to block out the creature’s creation. This chapter takes place in an almost dreamlike, or unreal space in which Victor neglects the consequences of his actions.

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