The mood of Frankenstein is overall melodramatic and somber, and is expressed primarily through psychological imagery that reflects protagonist Victor Frankenstein’s mental and emotional state at the time. This is exemplified in the following passage from Chapter 5, after Victor creates the Monster and leaves his apartment, horrified:
Morning, dismal and wet, at length dawned, and discovered to my sleepless and aching eyes the church of Ingolstadt, its white steeple and clock, which indicated the sixth hour. The porter opened the gates of the court, which had that night been my asylum, and I issued into the streets, pacing them with quick steps, as if I sought to avoid the wretch whom I feared every turning of the street would present to my view. I did not dare return to the apartment which I inhabited, but felt impelled to hurry on, although drenched by the rain which poured from a black and comfortless sky.
The description of the weather, characterized as dark, harsh, and foreboding, conveys Victor’s feelings of anguish and despair. Victor sees his creation of the Monster as a failure, a “catastrophe” that fills him with “breathless horror and disgust.” As Victor wanders the streets alone, the surrounding elements he encounters seem to reflect his despondent state of mind. This sober mood continues all throughout the novel as the rest of Victor’s tragic story unfolds.