"Hello Handsome!"- Young Frankenstein

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"It was a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils.  With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whome with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to for? His limbs were in propotion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whitness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shriveld complexion and striaght black lips (Hamilton 105)" - Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Ok, so apart from this being an AMAZING, wonderful, genius story, what else do we note about it? DETAILS DETAILS DETAILS! By Joe, I think you've got it!

How many of you could see the creature coming to life? Feel his gaze upon your face? Shelley does a wonderful job of depicting the intensity of the scene through the enforrcers of mood: a nearly burnt out candle, 1 in the morning, instruments of life.  We feel a morose and darkened tone, because we can sense that he is bringing something death back to life.  We can sense the doctor's insanity, as some may claim, for how can a man take dead tissues and spark them back to life? GENIUS!

We then are given a very in depth visualization of what are creature looks like. Although we know that his limbs are proportioned, I was surprised that we were not given any indication of his height. We know that there was an enormous amount of attention placed on the body cavity, for the author gives us the pigment of his skin, and the reference to the muscles and arteries.  From that detail, we know that great care and patience went into his experiment. 

The best detail of the passage for me, is the description of his eyes. "... a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set..."  As readers, we are alarmed by the word horrid, thinking that this is a creature of evil.  We can feel his eyes upon us as we read this.  What gets me is the fact that the author mentioned 'watery eyes.'  For any of you that know the story of Frankenstein, he is in actuality supposed to be a caring, misunderstood creature.  Perhaps the watery eyes are a symbol for his sensitivity, or the fact that he knows he is going to be misjudged. He is awaiting the pain that lies ahead of him.

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4 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

Stephanie, I have never read Shelley’s Frankenstein, but the passage you picked certainly does give a lot of description. However, the part that caught my attention most was this part:

“How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to for? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God!” (Hamilton 105) –Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

This caught my attention because it shifted the focus from the monster, being created, to the creator. We get to hear what he thinks of this “monster.” But as the creator, he does it see it as a monster; he sees it as “beautiful.” It is a really interesting contrast to call something beautiful and then describe its “yellow skin.” Shelley is going for a two-for-one here. She describes what the monster looks like in detail and she shows the reader that the creator is not quite all there (if for no other reason, because of his immense pride of his creation).

Wow! This is a very detailed, in-depth blog entry, Stephanie! I have never read Frankenstein either, but reading this passage gives me chills, especially: "...by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs" (Hamilton 105). If I would have been there for that, I would have been terrified. That is why I find horror stories to be so much more scary than horror movies, because with text you can let your imagination wander from the details that the author gives you.

Natasha said:

I was reading this entry by you stephanie and I couldn't help but notice how alike to my mother this is. She's a witch and I am feeling alot of emtions right now, this story brings back so many memories of when we used to go to the local park to feed the ducks and my mother used to eat them, it was horrific, can you imagine the scenes; duck feathers flying everywhere and blood splattering up all of the little children on bicycles. Oh no I am in tears now, i miss my mother, she was fugly but I miss her. love you stephanie :) x

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