• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the ways in which Frankenstein and one other Gothic novel explore the meaning of the 'monstrous'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast the ways in which Frankenstein and one other Gothic novel explore the meaning of the 'monstrous'. Frankenstein and the other novel I have chosen to analyse, Dracula, both contain creatures that can be seen as being monsters. However, both these novels describe and depict the characteristic of being monstrous, although the actual definition of the monstrous varies widely between the various extracts that can be taken, and between the two novels themselves. The monstrous can be perceived to mean a number of things, from simply the supernatural, the intelligence of the characters in question, to the physical appearance of something which is not what is usually expected, and can even be the moral issues that a character experiences. Both Frankenstein and Dracula are creatures which are 'abnormal', unnatural, even supernatural because indeed they do exist, but they technically should not because whereas Frankenstein is made from reanimated flesh, Dracula can take the life-force of another and use it to prolong the life of another which can be considered monstrous since it goes against the natural order of things. This why Jonathan wishes to send Dracula's soul 'for ever and ever into burning hell'; only then will the retribution against Dracula for all the cruelty be achieved. ...read more.

Middle

He recognises what he thinks is the 'monstrousness' in the creature, and even describes it as a 'monster' which 'gnashes its teeth'. This depersonalises the creature, and using emotive vocabulary tries to get the reader to agree with his perception, but yet Shelley at the same time is showing how quickly someone ordinary can become monstrous. After all, Victor has gone against the laws of nature, has gone against his 'child' and is even denying his creature its one desire to 'find a wife for his bosom' which as a request is not so monstrous. This conveys the fact that it is not merely the physical appearance of something that automatically categorises it as 'monstrous', but also whether or not they are natural, and their intelligence. However, in both of the two novels, the respective authors do seem to place a fair amount of emphasis on the physical appearance of the two creatures. Whether this is entirely fair is uncertain, because Victor can be seen as monstrous, and Renfield certainly is to some extent, with his wish to have life regardless of the source from whence it came: 'Life is all I want'. ...read more.

Conclusion

But of course the reaction to deeds done speak loudest of all, and by this, the creature can truly be seen as monstrous, because there is no regret, but even 'exultation and hellish triumph'. Morals, either the existence or non-existence of them, can be seen to be what truly define a being, and so since neither of the unnatural beings show much or any remorse, they can be said to be monstrous. The 'monstrous' attribute is determined by many things, such as morals, intelligence (and of course how this intelligence is used), whether something is of a 'natural' birth, and of course physical appearance. Both the novels mention all of these traits, in differing amounts, to show how the 'monstrous' is integral to not only a mere Gothic horror story, but also life in general. It is not purely the appearance of something which determines whether they are monstrous, and not even whether they are normal or not; the true answer lies deep within the soul, where only that being alone can ever truly know if they are monstrous or not. Intelligence may play a part in having a consciousness, but after that, it depends on that being and their willingness to change to become a normal member of society, and one that respects the unwritten laws by which we all live. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Mary Shelly section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Mary Shelly essays

  1. Frankenstien;In her 1831 introduction to the novel Shelley explained how she wanted to 'curdle ...

    reflects the similarities shared by both their emotions, for example, the loneliness and abandonment of their surroundings as well as their desolation and extraction form civilisation and help resulting in their vulnerability. Shelley uses many gothic techniques to effect the settings such a pathetic fallacy, for example using darkness to

  2. Who is the real monster in Mary Shelleys Frankenstein

    The monster intends to 'make reason' with its creator and states that if any being felt benevolence towards (it), (it) would make peace with the whole kind'. The monster made Frankenstein feel guilty, as he had been 'pitiless towards (it)'.

  1. Consider the ways in which Mary Shelley uses different Gothic settings to contribute to ...

    Through the presentation of the eponym?s laboratory, Shelley leaves the reader in revulsion at the horrific workings of Dr Frankenstein. We learn of the narrators ?filthy workshop of creation? as well as the ?vaults and charnel houses? he frequents in order to obtain ?filthy? materials.

  2. Compare and Contrast the ways in which rejection is presented in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

    The endearing nature of the blind father is completely switched to an abhorring and unwelcoming violence and disgust towards the monster, when the rest of the family return home. On sighting the monster the violence erupts. In the monster?s speech De Lacey observes sincerity, however, in the monster?s physique ?horror? and ?consternation? is evoked from those who see him.

  1. The creatures shift in attitudes regarding society, justice, and injustice is finalized in the ...

    with whom he can satisfy his desire for the love and care that he did not receive from the De Laceys. Frankenstein, however, cannot live with the implications of such a creature and destroys it before it is completed, at the same time destroying the monster?s last chance at happiness.

  2. Human curiosity in "Frankenstein"

    of many people; it inflicted suffering on the Creature, Frankenstein, and many other people. Therefore, human?s curiosity, in this case, was a curse. After reading Mary Shelley?s novel it seems like human?s curiosity always brings misery. However, curiosity has a good side too.

  1. Analyse chapter 4 of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and explore the extent to which it ...

    will put the reader either at unease or wanting them to read on. This is effective because the reader becomes indulged with the monster and creates a very clear image of him. ?Straight black lips.? ?Grave worms crawling in the folds of the flannel.? ?Demonical corpse.? The concept of death

  2. How does Shelley convey the concept of monstrosity?

    ?He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his appearance?? he goes on to say ?He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity? he?s an extraordinary-looking man?. This description of Hyde is similar to Frankenstein?s description of the creature as both emphasise on how deformed and ugly the creature is.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work