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How Is Figurative Language Used in Frankenstein?

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Mary Shelley uses personification, symbolism, similes, and metaphors. Figurative language in Frankenstein is a critical tool that reflects the plot subtexts. It refers to the characters and society.

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Figurative language in Frankenstein reflects the author’s unique ideas. Mary Shelley uses natural forces to convey the hidden meaning of the plot twists. This approach adds to the general atmosphere of the novel. A talented inventor created a terrifying beast. In his research, Victor relied on alchemy and the experience of ancient researchers. The natural context is the leitmotif in the novel. It stresses that any creature, be it a monster or a person, originates in nature.

One of the frequent tools Shelley uses in the novel is a metaphor. The author endows fire with the power of the elements that can create and destroy. The protagonist mentions the uniqueness of Persian and Arabic literary works. He notes that a person studying their texts feels “the fire that consumes your own heart.” Fire performs the function of purification and destruction. Addressing Victor, he says: “the fire of love that burns my heart.” But at the same time, fire the most terrible enemy for the monster. This metaphor makes this natural element look omnipotent.

Figurative language in Frankenstein includes personification and similes of natural phenomena. When the inventor sees the monster during a storm, he thinks: “A flash of lightning illuminated the object.” The reader can compare this approach to Victor’s insight. “The sea which surrounded me, told me too forcibly that I was deceived by no vision.” The author describes the sea to a minor character with its own opinion. In another part, Shelley matches the sea and the thunder. She shows its greatness: “roarings like thunder were heard at a distance.” These methods expand the figurative language in the book and liven up the reader’s experience.

Symbolism lets readers look at the atmosphere of the story from different points of view. “Rain poured from the dark sky and added to the melancholy impression I received from the objects around me.” Here Mary Shelley conveys the experiences of the main character. Everyone can find different symbols in this novel. For instance, the monster represents weakness. Death is the logical ending for all living creatures. These methods help readers understand the book and draw conclusions based on personal perception. People’s anger makes it clear that the unknown can frighten more than reality. Therefore, the figurative language in Frankenstein is a valuable tool.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "How Is Figurative Language Used in Frankenstein?" June 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/how-is-figurative-language-used-in-frankenstein/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'How Is Figurative Language Used in Frankenstein'. 28 June.

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