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A Close Reading Of The Opening Of Frankenstein

1480 words - 6 pages

From the very first instance of pathetic fallacy, ‘Frankenstein’ shapes an ‘essence’ that represents an ‘idea’ travelling the expanse of the terrain our narrator is writing from. From the ‘streets of Petersburg’, a ‘northern cold breeze’ plays upon the cheeks of an initially unnamed character, who takes time to marvel at its splendour and promise. This ‘breeze’ serves a purpose deeper than our outwardly perception, as it carries a message; a message that invokes phenomenon and uncertainty. In this analysis, I intend to depict how the second paragraph of the novel ‘Frankenstein’ seeks to establish its premise as a tale with an illustrious vindication of the ‘emergence’ of ideas. I also aim to ...view middle of the document...

We also see the forging of a relationship between the reader and the character at this point in the story, so it remains a crucial beginning to the novel.
As mentioned before, this ‘beginning’ of the novel boasts the personal pronoun ‘I’ as a means of creating a personal, emotive account encompassing the ‘heart’ and the ‘mind’ of the individual as a unified entity. It is by this ‘I’ that the emotive discourse in the passage is brought into question. Is being ‘inspirited by this wind’ a heartfelt ‘emotion’ or a reasonable ‘deduction’ of the ‘intellect’? Similarly, we can identify parts of the description that supports the idea that the choice of semantics is influenced by the narrator’s ‘heartfelt emotion’ and ‘intelligent reasoning’ in unison, or of separate accord. ‘A cold northern breeze plays’ highlights the mixture of value pertained to this concept of personification, and begins to illustrate how both the ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ work separately, but come together to embellish a perceived ‘reality’, and thus, ‘idealise’ it according to ‘inner desire’ (another concept of the ‘I’, but seems to have an independency the other two concepts seemingly lack). Moreover, the ‘cold northern breeze’ initiates an ‘emotional’ and ‘intellectual’ stimulation of negativity- as in ‘cold’ behaviour, ‘cold’ feet, ‘cold’ (temperature) and the likes. It is, therefore, necessary to conclude that such ‘negativity’ is enthused as a result of previous ‘emotional’ and ‘intellectual’ ‘memory’ (abstract and physical respectively) , and is both a product of the ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ alike, working together to create this ‘judgment’ or ‘perception’. However, the terms ‘breeze plays’ contrasts the previous vivid negativity of the adjective ‘cold’. Breeze denotes a ‘soft’ wind. From both the ‘heart’ and the ‘mind’, the perception of ‘softness’ induces ‘comfort’, and ultimately, desire, making it a ‘positive’, or ‘desirable’ aspect. The dynamic verb ‘plays’ personifies the ‘breeze’, giving this ‘softness’ an animated character, almost like that of a child. Again, with a child, the ‘memory’ of ‘innocence’, ‘freedom’ and ‘creativity’ trigger the ‘inner desire’, which makes this ‘breeze’ a positive occurrence.
This type of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ imagery is reiterated through the entire paragraph, and it draws up ‘ideals’ and ‘perceptible preferences’. This ‘breeze’ fills the narrator ‘with delight’. Later on, the ‘breeze’ is substituted by the word ‘wind’, yet our ‘perception’ of the wind remains ‘desirous’ because it is a ‘wind of promise’- ‘promise’ triggering the ‘conscience’ of man ‘based on history or memory’ (Marx and Engels), and thus, is made ‘desirable’. This theme of the ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ working together (i.e. ‘romanticism’) leads the narrator to ‘imagine’, to create ‘fantasy’. Ultimately, the absolute union of ‘emotion’ and ‘reason’ changes ‘perception’ and, for an instant, we become ‘individuals’; to be able to think for ourselves, create our own ‘reality’. This is...

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