The conclusion of Frankenstein leaves much to be desired. The last two paragraphs of the novel comprise of the creature’s stirring farewell speech to Walton, where he describes with great detail and passion his impending doom. He paints an intricate scene, for the audience, grandiosely outlining his choice of death and what will become of his departed spirit and physical remains. However, despite these assurances of suicide, a huge void in the text is the actual execution of the proposed events. Walton (and the audience), never actually witness the death of Frankenstein. This is a huge factor in the tension created by this conclusion. I for one, felt a niggling sense of unease upon completing the novel. Only upon further reflection was I able to pinpoint the unresolved fate of the creature as the source.

This tension is developed by the language of the creature, where the word “shall” appears repeatedly. “I shall die”and “I shall ascend my funeral pile” does not exactly inspire confidence in the reader of the creature’s certain death. To take him on his word after the horrendous acts of treachery he engaged in through the novel would not be the most rational course of action. Furthermore, the symbols of light and darkness are prominent in this concluding paragraph. The creature associates fire and light with his death, a seemingly ironic connotation. Following this train of thought, he takes his death to be a positive and his life to be grim and dark. However, in the final line, where he leaves the boat, he once more is “lost in the darkness and distance.” This contradicts his previous speech and imagery, once more giving the reader cause to believe that the creature continues to live. This ending employed tension masterfully, leaving the audience with no closure to the fate of the creature. The contributing choice of language used by the creature and the symbols surrounding this last scene further reinforces the general uncertainty of the creature’s end.Unknown-1

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