Frankenstein is a frame story, which means that the narrative is presented as a series of connected stories, usually told by different characters. The most famous example of this type of story is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In Frankenstein, the frame structure allows Shelley to explore different points of view and perspectives on the same event.
The frame structure of Frankenstein also allows Shelley to create a sense of suspense and tension by withholding information from the reader. For example, in the first chapter, we are introduced to Robert Walton, who is narrating the story. However, we are not told anything about Frankenstein or his monster until later in the book. This withheld information creates a sense of mystery and suspense that keeps the reader hooked.
Overall, the frame structure of Frankenstein is a key element of the novel, and contributes to its enduring popularity and status as a classic work of literature. Whether you are reading Frankenstein for the first time or returning to it after many years, the frame structure will help you understand this complex and fascinating story in new and exciting ways.
The frame narrative of Frankenstein is a symmetrically constructed work with a tale at its core. This isn’t always the case with frame novels, as there are examples without a clear center (e.g. Heart of Darkness). The sophisticated structure of frames suggests that this area holds some sort of secret knowledge. On the other hand, it would be incorrect to assume that the central position alone provides the meaning of the book’s message. In fact,
The frame structure of Frankenstein can be understood as a reflection on the nature of story-telling itself and what it means to create or to connect stories. The novel explores different ways in which narratives intersect, interweave, and influence each other, and presents us with the idea that meaning always exists in relation to other stories.
Ultimately, Frankenstein is not just about one individual’s creation and its consequences, but rather about how we create meaning through our own personal narrative frameworks. Whether we are creating fictional worlds or engaging with others’ stories, we are all constantly shaping and reshaping our own understanding of the world around us.
The use of inner oral narratives as forms of seduction is one of the major points made in the essay. To put it another way, they are attempting to persuade their audience to promise fulfillment for an unfulfilled want. The Monster’s and Frankenstein’s tale are examples of this, but the motifs of enticing narration and promises may also be seen elsewhere in the book.
The frame structure of Frankenstein is a key element in understanding the novel’s themes and messages. Set in 1816, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein explores the inner workings of seductive storytelling through the stories told by both Frankenstein and his creation. The Monster, who comes to life with no knowledge of language or social norms, uses his story as a way to seduce Frankenstein and others into promising that they will fulfill his desire for companionship and acceptance.
Similarly, Frankenstein tells his own tale as a form of seduction, using it to persuade others to promise him that they can create an ideal companion for him. Both characters use their stories as tools of manipulation, relying on the power of narrative to control how others see them and what they expect from them.
While the frame structure of Frankenstein allows for readers to explore the dangers of seductive storytelling, it also highlights the power of narrative to shape our understanding of the world. Frankenstein and the Monster both use their stories to create sympathy and empathy in those who hear them, using the emotional power of their words to control how others see them.
In this way, Frankenstein shows us that narratives can be used as tools not just to deceive or manipulate, but also to connect with others on a deep level. By understanding the frame structure of Frankenstein, we can better appreciate Mary Shelley’s exploration of the importance of storytelling in our lives.
The Monster’s aim is to be loved by someone. He tells Frankenstein his tale in order to persuade him to create a female creature like himself for his companion when he realises that not only the DeLaceys but every other human being will reject him because of his ugliness. At the conclusion of Chapter 8 of Volume II (page 97 of our edition), the monster states, “We may not part until you have agreed to my request. I am lonely and miserable; humans will not associate with me; but one who is as ugly and terrible as myself would refuse herself to me.
Frankenstein at first adamantly refuses to do what the Monster asks, but eventually he agrees, enticed by the prospect that the creation of a female being will calm the Monster’s newfound rage. Frankenstein travels to the Orkney Islands, where he works on creating the second creature in relative isolation.
The frame structure of Frankenstein is such that Frankenstein’s story is told through captain Robert Walton’s letters to his sister. Frankenstein begins telling his story to Walton after he saved him from dying in the ice and Frankenstein wants Walton to know why he has embarked on this journey. The novel Frankenstein is thus “framed” by Walton’s letters to his sister.
Frankenstein spends two years working on the female creature, but when it comes time to animate her, he destroys her out of fear that she will be as evil as the first creature. Frankenstein then flees from the Orkney Islands back to his home in Geneva. The Monster, who has been following Frankenstein, finds him there and convinces Frankenstein to hear his story. Frankenstein agrees, and the Monster proceeds to tell his own tale.
The frame structure of Frankenstein allows Shelley to explore various themes through the different stories being told. One such theme is that of nature versus nurture. In Frankenstein, Shelley asks the question of whether it is nature or nurture that determines who we are. Is it our genes or our environment that shapes us into who we become? This is a question that is still debated today.
Another theme that is explored in Frankenstein is that of science versus nature. Frankenstein is a story about a man who creates life, playing God. This raises the question of whether science should be used to tamper with nature. Is it ethically wrong to play with life in this way? These are just some of the themes that are explored in Shelley’s Frankenstein through the use of a frame structure.
Meanwhile, Frankenstein’s goal is to kill his creature. Realizing that he will most likely not be able to accomplish his objective on his own, he tells Captain Walton his tale in order for him to swear that the Monster will not live after he is dead (p. 145). “However,” says Frankenstein, “if I am deceased; if they bring you my corpse, vow that he shall not survive.”
Frankenstein wants Walton to kill the Monster after he himself is dead. Frankenstein’s purpose in telling his story, then, is to achieve posthumous revenge. Frankenstein’s narration, therefore, can be seen as a frame narrative whose purpose is to allow Frankenstein to take his revenge from beyond the grave.
The frame structure of Frankenstein allows Shelley to explore different aspects of her story from different points of view. For example, Frankenstein’s creature is only truly revealed to us once he tells his own story in Volume II. Prior to this, we only know him through Frankenstein’s eyes and so our understanding of him is limited. It is only when we hear his story that we begin to see him as a sympathetic character and understand his motivations.
In addition, the frame allows Shelley to explore the theme of Frankenstein’s responsibility for his creature in a more nuanced way. If the story was told from Frankenstein’s point of view alone, it would be easy to see him as completely responsible for the creature’s actions and sympathise with him completely. However, hearing the creature’s story allows us to understand his side of things and see Frankenstein as only partially responsible for what has happened.
The frame structure of Frankenstein is therefore key to our understanding of the novel as a whole. It allows Shelley to explore different aspects of her story from different points of view and adds depth and nuance to our understanding of the characters and themes.