As discussed in Major Themes, Victor Frankenstein is allegory for the mythical figure, Prometheus. As the latter stole fire from the gods and was punished for it, so did the former discover the secret to creating life, and subsequently suffer for it.
Shelley intersperses quotations from and references to poetry throughout the novel, adding a level of artistic awareness to a novel that purports to be testimonial in nature.
Frankenstein's creation of the monster can be read as an allegory for the creation story from Genesis, of God creating Adam. As is the case in that story, Frankenstein forms the creature in his image (i.e., that of a human -- albeit grotesquely), and animates the creation.
The novel is deeply concerned with evidence and direct testimony with respect to events. As such, proof of communication between people is often conveyed in the form of letters, both within the story (e.g., the monster showing letters from his upbringing to Frankenstein) and in a reflexive context (i.e., the most direct interface between the reader and narrative is the collection of Walton's letters to his sister).
The novel is explicitly retrospective on every level: Walton is recounting events that have already happened in his letters to his sister; Frankenstein is recounting his history to Walton; the monster is recounting his past to Frankenstein. As such, the tone of the narrative is generally very self-aware and reflective -- expressing regret over what happened; imagining how events might have gone differently; and so forth.
Frankenstein Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Frankenstein is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
In Chapter Five, the three main characters are Victor, Henry Clerval, and Victor's monster. The main idea of this chapter is the culmination of Victor's experiment and the attainment of is dream.... a dream that quickly turns into a nightmare....