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The reader is alienated from the speaker and looks beyond his words for other meanings that lie out of the reach of their confessional or self-expressive impact. » Many readers have noticed, of course, the overdetermination of the description of Frankenstein’s reactions.
At first I started back, unable to believe that it was indeed I who was reflected in the mirror; and when I became fully convinced that I was in reality the monster that I am, I was filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence and mortification.
(My Italics)4 by the perception of the gap in the text which has already closed, in the act of utterance, for the speaker.
I started from my sleep with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead, my teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed; when, by the dim and yellow light of the moon, as it forced its way through the window shutters, I beheld the wretch — the miserable monster whom I had created.
He held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me.
According to the narrative pattern of the novel, the narrators pass on the first-person narrative to one another, like a torch; the technique has been called 3 it is like a series of first-person testimonies, essentially dramatic, each speaker using a first-person, but, of course, a retrospective first-person, which, for the reader, has the effect of setting textual and narrative sequences against one another, and enhances the fissured, the splitting effect of the text as a whole.
I had admired the perfect forms of my cottagers — their grace, beauty, and delicate complexions; but how was I terrified when I viewed myself in a transparent pool!
At length lassitude succeeded to the tumult I had before endured, and I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness.
But it was in vain; I slept, indeed, but I was disturbed by the wildest dreams.
Mary Shelley, argue Gilbert and Gubar, is rewriting the Milton passage, inverting the received (Christian/Patriarchal) rewriting of Ovid, in order to remove or at the least problematise, the ideological power of Milton’s mysogenistic propaganda: That day I oft remember, when from sleep I first awaked, and found myself reposed Under a shade of flowers, much wondering where And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound Of waters issued from a cave and spread Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoved Pure as the expanse of heaven; I thither went With unexperienced thought, and laid me down On the green bank, to look into the clear Smooth lake, that to me seemed another sky.