The Frame Structure Of Frankenstein Essay Research — страница 2

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III, chapter VII, p.150). The fact that Justine who speaks in a variable voice (Vol. I, chapter VII, p. 53) is not convincing enough to defend herself in court stresses the importance that is subscribed to voice. It seems strange that, neither of these powerful voices is conveyed in the novel by means of tone, diction or sentence structure. On the contrary, each of three stories in Frankenstein is written in almost the same highly formal language. Beth Newman gives two reasons for this. First, Frankenstein and other early 19th century novels, in contrast to later realist works, do not characterize human beings as individuals but rather as figures that represent abstract and general qualities. Thus, also the narrators of these novels are not highly individualized speakers, as

known especially from modern works, but rather lifeless, almost anonymous voices, that are much less important than the stories they tell. Therefore, Frankenstein and many other 19th century frame narratives contradict most approaches of narrative theory that claim that no story exists apart from a shaping human intelligence. The second reason for the lack of stylistic means to convey the narrators persuasiveness is probably more important and has to do with the frame structure of the novel. Frankenstein offers a reversal of an older novel structure, in which a written document is at the center of a novel surrounded by an oral narrative. In Frankenstein the Monster s and Frankenstein s originally oral reports are not only framed by Captain Walton s written story, but also

transformed into written language. This technique is used to exclude Captain Waltons s sister and the reader from the horror of the narratives, building a barrier to the seductive power of the spoken narratives that does not work any more in the medium of written language. Thus the domestic tranquility of Walton s sister and her family is saved and not destroyed like the one of Frankenstein s family in the center of the novel.