Two articles; one anonymous from The Quarterly Review and the other written by Sir Walter Scott published in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine use language to convey a compelling point of view. In The Quarterly Review article, the anonymous writer’s usage of high vocabulary words such as “diseased”, “repelled” and “loathing” make the article’s diction high level. Examples of syntax used in this article would be found in line 16, in which the writer criticizes the work as a “tissue of horrible and disgusting absurdity. The analogy the writer uses to describe Shelley’s work is found in lines (34-42) “Our taste and our judgment alike revolt at this kind of writing and the greater the ability with which it may be executed the worse it is—it inculcates no lesson of conduct, manners, or morality; it cannot mend, and will not even amuse its readers, unless their taste have been deplorably vitiated—it fatigues the feeling without interesting the understanding; it gratuitously harasses the sensations.
Sir Walter Scott’ article also has high level diction by his usage of high level words including “lamenting”, “extremity”, “perused” and “hyperbolical Germanisms”. The syntax that he uses can be found in line (14-26) where Sir Walters really touched basis on Frankenstein’s feelings and what he wanted. His analogy towards Shelley’s work is more of admiration towards the novel, than that of disgust as the anonymous writer felt. The ideas of the author are always clearly as well as forcibly expressed and his descriptions of landscape have in them the choice requisites of truth, freshness, precision and beauty. ” (Lines 54-57) The points of view used in both passages are 1st person and 3rd person omniscient. When you begin reading the anonymous article, the first paragraph is a summarization of Frankenstein. The point of view is demonstrated in 3rd person omniscient because it is told through the narrator of the novel.
The rest of the article’s content is the writer’s own opinion about the novel so it uses 1st person point of view. Usage of negative words such as “poor”, “monster”, “disgusting”, “appall” and “diseased” make the anonymous writer’s opinion on Frankenstein have a very negative tone as well as negative connotations. Sir Walter Scott’s summarization of the novel is found in the first two paragraphs. Again the point of view represented is in 3rd person omniscient.
The difference that both of the article’s summarization have, is that the anonymous writer only mentioned the basics of the novel, the writer never uses quotes directly from the novel and paraphrases what happened. Sir Walter’s article on the other hand is very descriptive and detailed. In the first paragraph he uses plenty of verbs and/or nouns to make the summarization more descriptive “suffering”, “unhappy victim”, “daemon”, “lamenting”, “wretch”, “irremediably ruin his creator”, “ love”, “admiration”.
The second paragraph summarizing the novel is an actual passage written by the novel’s author, describing how Frankenstein wants to destroy himself because of who he is. In contrast from the anonymous writer’s opinion of Frankenstein, Sir Walter’s tone and connotations are very positive. Both the anonymous writer and Sir Walter use very high diction, similar points of view and defend their statement with both logical and reasonable statements.
Their reactions towards the novel on the other hand are very different. The anonymous writer obviously regretted reading the novel, or even having the idea of reading it, Sir Walter’s reaction to the novel is that of pure admiration; he celebrates everything about the novel and not once says something negative about it. Putting aside all the differences and similarities of the articles, each critic uses a high level of language to convey an exquisite point of view when criticizing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
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