Frankenstein – Tone and Mood

Tone and mood that develops throughout the passage below.

“have been irksome (irritating) and almost intolerable. To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death. I became acquainted with the science of anatomy, but this was not sufficient; I must also observe the natural decay and corruption of the human body. In my education my father had taken the greatest precautions that my mind should be impressed with no supernatural horrors. I do not ever remember to have trembled at a tale of superstition or to have feared the apparition of a spirit. Darkness had no effect upon my fancy, and a churchyard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm. Now I was led to examine the cause and progress of this decay and forced to spend days and nights in vaults and charnel-houses. My attention was fixed upon every object the most insupportable to the delicacy of the human feelings. I saw how the fine form of man was degraded and wasted; I beheld the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life; I saw how the worm inherited the wonders of the eye and brain.”

Tone – The narrator use of words such as “forced” can have a connotative meaning that tells us that Dr Frankenstein believes that something/someone other than himself is making him conduct his research in such a grotesque and inhumane manner. Frankenstein also shows us that he believes that death should be utilized to answer life’s questions. That death can be used to help those who’re still breathing to cure disease and make it so that death doesn’t have to be the thing at the end. Frankenstein also states “I beheld the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life.” This means that although he can see that what he is doing is morally wrong, it will inevitably cause him to succeed in how to make life last longer for everyone. He believes strongly in spirituality. This is shown as he states “receptacles of bodies deprived of life.” A person is not the body of which they inhabit they are the soul and consciousness within it. And once the body is no longer conscious, it is gone and now just parts of flesh and bone that will eventually decay and “become food for the worm.”

Mood – When reading this piece of text i felt as though the narrator felt the slightest but of guilt, as he was not in control of his actions. He wanted to change the world, become a god. Save humanity from itself, from illness, from death. That’s impossible. He felt the responsibility of the world. Although he didn’t believe in ghosts or ghouls, he felt a connection with the bodies of which he touched. He held the bodies as only bodies, as to him they were no longer people. He says “every object” when referring to the limbs and body parts of these people, this shows that he was distancing himself from the concept that these were people. He was subconsciously dehumanizing them. He also made the obvious observation that the “objects” were “insupportable to the delicacy of human feelings.” He knew that the bodies couldn’t feel the pain physically or mentally.

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