Three narrators, three perspectives

Pastiche

Now I am far north of Norway, and I feel a cold northern breeze upon my gills. I swam up from the south. And there, I had a friend on the wide ocean.  Once I had a desire of finding a friend. An oddly shaped island, unlike any we’ve seen before, has sprung up. There was always plenty of food around the island so I moved closer to him to find something to eat. As he began to tell me his story, we became friends.  His tale was connected to the simplest truth and desire. Not being miserable.

Does the death ends one’s life and the life ends one’s death? Does artificial invention ends natural discovery, or can artificiality coexist with nature? I made an island out of rubbish that was no longer useful. I wanted to create another use for the rubbish that had reached the end of its usefulness.  The small pieces gathered to form an area and began to show signs of an island on the surface of the water. The island once spoke to me. “I am miserable. Why did you make me a collection of rubbish? Is that right to call me as an island? Why there are no one near me?”

I’ve seen countless sunrises and sunsets since I’ve been here.  Other islands observed the scenery with an eye of feeling and delight. Whereas I, a miserable wretch, haunted by a curses shut down every ocean to enjoyment. But one day, I started to see beneath the surface. Part of my body was at the very bottom of the ocean, and all the lands of the ocean were connected to the islands. On each island, there was fish that came to find something to eat. And so it came to pass that I also had a friend to tell my story to.

 

Explanation of pastiche

 I followed the narrative structure of Frankenstein, with each paragraph being a different narrator and the point of view shifting from Walton to Frankenstein to the monster.

 The monster’s desire was to be connected with others like a human, and this reminded me of someone’s analogy of people as islands. The islands floating in the ocean are all connected to one land, even though they seem to be separated. If you want to reject relationships and choose isolation, look above the ocean, and if you want to be connected, look below the ocean. So I wrote the pastiche with this metaphor in mind: people are like islands.

 In the first paragraph, I introduced the main character of the story, an artificial island, using the word “friend” from the perspective of a fish looking for food around the island. In the second paragraph, the story is told from the point of view of the person who created the artificial island by collecting rubbish, and he  mentions the difficulties he faced in creating the island. The last paragraph is told from the point of view of the artificial island. I borrowed heavily from passages in which he contemplates his existence. In the end, by looking beneath the surface, the artificial island realises that all the islands are connected and his wish to be connect to others is fulfilled.

 

Introduction| Preparing a text

 Literature is made up of characters, events, and settings, but in the end, the events and settings are described by someone speaking. Therefore, I thought understanding the narrator is important before analyzing. <<Frankenstein>> has three narrators. The first part is told from the perspective of an explorer named Robert Walton, and then, Dr Frankenstein, who creates life through the power of science, and lastly, Dr Frankenstein’s creation. If the story is told from a single narrator’s point of view, the words used by the narrator will have consistency in their usage because they come from a single consciousness. However, if the story is told from multiple points of view, such as the novel I chose, the meaning of the words and the emotions of the characters when they use them will vary depending on which narrator is speaking at a particular moment. Therefore, before analyzing the text, I tried to identify the narrator who changes as the story progresses.

 Among them, I paid particular attention to the speech of the creature. The creature was borned but had trouble with integrating into the human world. He  perceived as a monster and excluded from society because of his appearance. He was treated as a monster against his will, but through his storytelling, he conveys that he was a human being who dreamed of being integrated into society and interacting with others.

 

What I found

 As mentioned earlier, the text analysis was divided into three parts.

https://voyant-tools.org/?corpus=91afb1115dcd11f41c85cb8b97a712eb

Firstly, the novel begins by the explorer named Robert Walton and follows his point of view for four letters and part of the final chapter. Walton encounters a monster during an Arctic expedition, and he records his encounter by listening to the monster’s stories. I focused on the frequent use of “friend” in Wilton’s narrative. Walton was able to listen to and record the monster’s story because he perceived it as a friend, not as an object to be feared or someone to be kept at a distance. His repeated use of the possessive “my” when referring to the monster suggests a degree of intimacy between the two characters.

https://voyant-tools.org/?corpus=9512bc5680fa7053e33d1ccb3bbadc0d

 The next narrator was Dr Frankenstein. He was also the main character of the story and describes his experiments, pain, and solitude. He expresses his inner conflict and anguish over his responsibility as the creator of the monster. It is shown by the frequency of using the word”life” which is accompanied by the “death”. As the creator of the monster, his every word must have had an impact on the creature. Dr Frankenstein refers to his creation as a “hideous wretch”, “miserable monster” and “demoniacal corpse” because of its ugly and grotesque appearance. His words must have had a profound effect on the creature’s self-perception. 

https://voyant-tools.org/?corpus=ef1840334fa54ac1d3b7ba0e9455933a

Finally, the monster appears as a speaker in the last part of the book. The monster is a creature that has been brought back to life from the death, and although he has been abandoned by his creator, he continues to want to be connected to others, demonstrating the characteristics of a social animal that refuses to live alone and wants to live with companionship. Notable words in the monster’s speech include “heart,” “miserable,” and “feel(felt)”. He knew that the language is an important part of being human and living a human life, so he was not afraid to express his thoughts and even convince his creator to make him a companion who can live with him in a similar situation. His storytelling and persuasive skills came from his ability to express his emotions. This can be seen by noting how often he uses the verb “feel”, which is the most common verb used to express emotion. For him, a human life would be one in which he was no longer miserable. And finally he gained his life lived in relationships with others on a person-to-person, although his demands of the father were not granted, the fact that he is referred to as a “friend” by Walton suggests that the monster’s wishes were fulfilled.

 

Conclusion | What I learned

First of all, I went to the cirrus options and selected the stopword removal option for English, and I could see the results in a table with colour-coded negative and positive words, as well as collocates. Collocates were words that are frequently used together semantically or grammatically in a language. It had two types of them: semantic collocations and grammatical collocations. It is worth to convey more specific meanings and form idiomatic expressions. In natural language processing, it is said that the semantic relationship or context between words can be identified. And also, it was convenient to see the contexts in which words were used. This made it easier to find the location of the word in the overall context and to understand its meaning.

In addition, by breaking down each character’s utterances using VOYANT TOOLS, I was able to interpret the story from a new perspective. In particular, by paying attention to the words that the monster frequently used, I was able to understand what kind of human life he wanted. Also, by observing the utterances of Walton and Dr Frankenstein, I was able to know how they viewed the monster through the expressions they frequently used.

 


OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
yuharin (4 décembre 2023). Three narrators, three perspectives. Classiques et numériques. Consulté le 12 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/mvsl


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