No matter what question you end up with in your exam, you’re probably going to mention the monster at some point. Therefore, you’ll need to know some key quotes and be able to analyse them in detail. Luckily, there’s one below with a possible interpretation and a further four to help you develop your own analysis. We’ve also linked the quotes to themes, so that you can double up on your revision for this as well!
‘How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe?’
(Frankenstein, Chapter 5)
This quote is taken from chapter five, where the Monster has just been created. The phrase ‘describe my emotions’ hints at Victor’s confusion towards his creation. Whatever he had in mind during the process, this wasn’t it. Shelley has used the noun ‘catastrophe’ to emphasise Victor’s feelings towards his creation. ‘Catastrophe’ has many negative connotations, evoking feelings of disgust towards the Monster which is echoed throughout the rest of the novel from many characters. However, the reader at this point would likely feel sympathy for the Monster. After all, he’s only just been created and is completely innocent at this point in the novel.
‘I alone am irrevocably excluded’ (The Monster, Chapter 10)
- The quote is a declaration. What is the monster declaring?
- What word class is ‘irrevocably’ and what do you think it means?
- What word class is ‘excluded’ and what does it mean?
- What tone has Shelley set through the monster’s words?
‘God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring… but my form is a filthy type of yours’ (The Monster, Chapter 15)
- What is the monster thinking about here?
- What do the adjectives ‘beautiful’ and ‘alluring’ suggest about how he sees mankind?
- What impression does the phrase ‘my form is a filthy type of yours’ create?
- How does Shelley use religious imagery to criticise 19th century scientists?
‘I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants and glutted myself with their shrieks and misery’
(The Monster, Chapter 16)
- What does the phrase ‘with pleasure’ suggest about human nature?
- What word class is ‘glutted’ and what does it mean?
- What word class is ‘destroyed’ and what impression does it give the reader of the monster?
- Overall, how is the monster characterised in this quote?
‘I will work at your destruction, nor finish until I desolate your heart, so that you shall curse the hour of your birth.’
(The Monster, Chapter 17)
- What does the imperative phrase ‘I will’ suggest?
- What word class is ‘destruction’ and what does it mean?
- How is the monster characterised in this quote?
- What effect could Shelley’s choice of words have on the reader?