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Analyzing Mary Shelley's Passage From 'The Mortal Immortal'

Decent Essays
In this passage from “The Mortal Immortal” the author, Mary Shelley, uses repetition of the idea of mortality throughout the text to give the reader insight into the thoughts of the characters and instill a magical nature to the story, she also creates a mystical sense to the power of the alchymist which makes the mood of the story seem to be supernatural which is diminishes as the passage progresses and becomes more scientific in nature than in the beginning. This story focuses on the ideas of immortality and what it means to be alive. Throughout this passage, Shelley uses repetition of many words and phrases that bring your thoughts back to the idea of being immortal. One such use of this repetition is the use of the word “IMMORTAL,” at…show more content…
In the sentence “I remembered the radiant hues and grateful of that delicious beverage… I was then, IMMORTAL!” the word immortal is being used to portray the eternal life of the narrator (54). The word immortality is repeated later in the passage when it says, “longevity was far different from immortality” (54). The repetition of this word is used to engrave the main idea of this story, which is the idea that the narrator is in some way everlasting. There are several other examples of the repetition of the idea of immortality, for example when she writes “But I lived, and was to live for ever,” or when she writes “I surveyed myself in a mirror, and could perceive no change in my features during the space of the five years which had lapsed” (54). In these sentences, it is not the repletion of a word, but the repetition of the idea of immortality which is shown in the words “for ever” in the first quote, and in the thought that over five years…show more content…
At the beginning of the passage, the mood is set to be mystical. This mystical mood is shown many times in the first and second paragraph of the passage. One example of this is when he says, “ all weak he was – strength seemed miraculously to re-enter his frame – he stretched forth his hand” (54). This gives a visual of a person seemingly springing to life supernaturally before their very eyes and extending his hand towards them, possibly in a cry for help, which gives the reader a sense of wonder and connection to the character. Immediately after, it says “a loud explosion startled me – a ray of fire shot up from the elixir, and the glass vessel which contained it was shivered to atoms” (54). This continues to add to the previous visualization and sense of wonder and adds the image of a dramatic ball of fire and a glass vial being blown into many little pieces, which at first may seem to be magical to some people. After that, the mood of the story starts to change from being magical, to being more scientific in nature. This is shown when the narrator states that “He was a wise philosopher, but had no acquaintance with any spirits but those clad in the flesh and blood” (54). This sentence is used to show the change in mood of the story from magic, to science by denouncing the notion that a human could manipulate the mind and body of a living creature, represented in this passage as the “spirit”, and
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