Frankenstein Quotes: Chapters 19 – 21

in Clerval I saw the image of my former self Victor himself acknowledges his doubling – but only on his own terms. (in…self)
But I am a blasted tree; the bolt has entered my soul Victor cannot enjoy sight-seeing in Oxford because of the hardships he has suffered, recalling the image at the beginning of the novel. Structural comment? Plosive bs. Emotive and dramatic lexis. Resignation.(But… soul)
For an instant I dared to shake off my chains, and look around me with a free and lofty spirit; but the iron had eaten into my flesh, and I sank again, trembling and hopeless, into my miserable self After Oxford, things look up a little – but slavery has had too potent an effect. Carnal connotations. Immense pathos. Almost tmesis. (For…self)
so much does suffering blunt even the coarsest sensations of men Victor’s statement on the fate of the Scottish island’s inhabitants, failing to realise the pertinence to the Creature’s condition. (so…men)
‘miserable cows’ ‘miserable fare’ ‘miserable huts’ ‘miserable penury’ Semantic field of the depressing environment of the island.
desolate and appalling landscape The Scottish island is sublime, but not in a dramatic and beautiful way. Heralds the Creature’s arrival – and the negative consequences. (de…pe)
During my first experiment, a kind of enthusiastic frenzy had blinded me to the horror of my employment; my mind was intently fixed on the consummation of my labour, and my eyes shut to the horror of my proceedings. But now I went to it in cold blood, and my heart often sickened at the work of my hands. Victor contrasts the first Creature’s creation from the second. Has none of the same excitement and ardour. Inability to see is key – lack of foresight, and reminds us of his inability to see the creature as a person, as his child. Gruesome, Gothic images; connotation of illness. (During…hands)
a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth, who might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror Victor shows a form almost of racism, branding the creature and his future stock as a different race, a different species, in monumentally dehumanising terms. Certainty in his own subjective conclusions. (a…terror)
I shuddered to think that future ages might curse me as their pest, whose selfishness had not hesitated to buy its own peace at the price, perhaps, of the existence of the whole human race The immense contrast from his initial motive in creating the Creature. Reflect how far he has fallen – but also the knowledge and forethought which he SHOULD have had in the first place. Beginning to notice his egotism. Hyperbolic. (I…race)
a ghastly grin Little has changed – Victor brands the Creature’s smiles in similar ways to immediately after his birth (
The wretch saw me destroy the creature on whose future existence he depended for happiness, and, with a howl of devilish despair and revenge, withdrew Victor describes the Creature witnessing the murder of his mate. Inserts a justification of his despair, but then ignores it, surrounding this word with condemnatory censure. He inserts his own subjective impressions, blinded as he is by his unswerving hatred. Harsh verb shows he has descended to the level of the creature: murder, abortion (The…withdrew)
Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master; — obey! The Creature’s assertion of mastership and dominance over his Creator – starkly demonstrates the reversal of their roles, and Victor’s imprisonment – the disobedience he showed in destroying the creature will not go unpunished. Minor exclamative imperative. Vast superiority. Mirroring syntax expresses their mutual dependence. (Slave…y!)
Shall each man … find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? In words echoing Adam’s supplication to God, asking for a mate like the beasts’, the Creature points out the injustice of his loneliness, reminding us of the broken contract between Creator and Creation. A sliding scale down through the echelons of creation, culminating in the all-important isolation. (Shall…alone?)
she, who in all probability was to become a thinking and reasoning animal, Even in acknowledging her probable intellect, Victor still refuses to recognise the humanity of the female creature. Juxtaposition. (she…al)
I shall be with you on your wedding night The Creature’s ultimate threat.
I will watch with the wiliness of a snake, that I may sting with its venom The Creature self-identifies as a serpent, with all its connotations of original sin, and the devil. He is ever more alligning himself with the fallen angel. Reminds us of Victor’s image of the gratification of his wishes (I…om)
That then was the period fixed for the fulfillment of my destiny Victor’s immediate but erroneous interpretation of the Creature’s threat. Shows his ever-ready egotism, and unstinting resignation to destiny. (that…destiny)
I almost felt as if I had mangled the living flesh of a human being A subconscious undercurrent of guilt at the act – equatable to murder – that he has carried out in killing the creature. Psychoanalytical – the id is burying the ego? (I…being)
Of what materials was I made, that I could thus resist so many shocks, which, like the turning of the wheel, continually renewed the torture? Victor sees himself as superhuman, differently constructed – relating his situation to the creation of life and matter. Simile describes his torment – like Prometheus. Punishment. (Of…torture?)
a darkness pressed around me: no one was near me who soothed me with the gentle voice of love; no dear hand supported me Victor suffers in prison, alone with darkness. It is oppressive, a physical discomfort. He feels victimised, a symptom of his growing paranoia? His fate mirrors the Creature’s earlier. Anaphora of negatives. (a…me)
Soon, oh! very soon, will death extinguish these throbbings, and relieve me from the mighty weight of anguish that bears me to the dust Victor brings us to the present, reminding us of his ever approaching death. Repetition and exclamation, intensifier. Homoioteleuton. Funereal. (soon…dust)
I saw around me nothing but a dense and frightful darkness, penetrated by no light but the glimmer of two eyes that glared upon me The Creature is ever present before Victor. Hallucinatory? Mad? (I…me)
How can I describe my sensations on beholding it? I feel yet parched with horror, nor can I reflect on that terrible moment without shuddering and agony Victor’s reaction on seeing the corpse of Clerval. Defies language – rhetorical question. Enduring effect. Blending of the key Gothic constituents of terror and horror. (How…agony)
monstrous Image which I had endued with the mockery of a soul still more monstrous Victor thinks of the creature – emphasizing its lack of humanity, and the contrast between physical appearance and inward character. (monstrous…ous)

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