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

Frankenstien;In her 1831 introduction to the novel Shelley explained how she wanted to 'curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart'. Do you think she achieves her aim? Look closely at chapter 20.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In her 1831 introduction to the novel Shelley explained how she wanted to 'curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart'. Do you think she achieves her aim? Look closely at chapter 20. Shelley's aim to 'curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart' of the reader instantly prepares the reader for a gothic novel with traditional themes such as, tampering with unknown sciences, revenge, the role of women at the peril of male figures, murder and many more. A typical quality within gothic literature is the physical reactions of characters and how they are portrayed as carrying out dramatic motions in response to events in the novel, in order to emphasise the terror or ghastliness of what they are witnessing. This physical reaction is the key effect Shelley is trying to put upon the reader. This heightens the sense of terror throughout the book. Another point referencing to gothic literature in Shelley's 1931 introduction is her explanation of how the idea for the novel came to her through a dream, dreams are used within the novel to create a sense of unease and foreboding. It has been said, when looking at the structure of the novel, Shelley tries to induce the feelings of unease and instability, 'many critics have described the novel itself as monstrous, a stitched-together combination of different voices, texts, and tenses'. ...read more.

Middle

Women are traditionally seen as weak helpless beings in gothic novels, and although Shelley has contradicted this through the action of some female characters in various stages of the novel, it is generally portrayed as the woman being a helpless victim or in need of a dominating man to save her. Duality is another technique used in gothic literature. By setting up opposites running parallel it emphasises the extremes in their contrasting factors. Shelley has set up many dualities throughout the novel and the conflict between good and evil is obviously apparent in chapter 20. This is especially shown at the beginning of the chapter when the reader gains perspective of Victor's toil and torment when thinking of the creation of the female companion. After hearing the monsters narrative the reader does sympathise with his wanting for a companion. On the other hand however the reader sympathises with the reasons victors has against the creation. Victor knows the monster will never be accepted into society as everyone is "prejudiced in so deadly a manner" and that the companion may just inherit the resentment toward the human race and pose a threat. This conflict between two opposing elements is a very gothic devise, Shelley uses it throughout chapter 20 through; the creation of life and death through the companion's destruction; and the distinction between duty and responsibility, victor had a duty to the monster but a responsibility to mankind. ...read more.

Conclusion

Again making the characters actions harder to predict, which builds up a sense of tension and heightens fear of his actions. Shelley uses classic gothic themes throughout the novel to heighten tension and create a sense of terror. She uses a mixture of gothic themes throughout the novel and techniques in specific chapters to create tension and terror. Whether she has achieved her aim however depends greatly on the individual. Many aspects of society condition their inhabitants into holding different beliefs and values. One of the main ways Shelley creates horror is through a sense of shocking the reader by controversial events. For example the way Shelley usurps the role of god could potentially shock people with strong religious beliefs and the act of someone going so against god could create a feeling of terror. Others may be affected by the gothic techniques for example pathetic fallacy. The way in which this is used throughout the novel heightens the reader's awareness of upcoming events. The suspense of the readers wait for the unknown again induces terror and emphases the climatic events. Chapter 20 is one of the most successful chapters in not only creating a sense of terror through Shelley's techniques but by further shocking the reader by the dramatic climax of the events Shelley has built up to. Shelley has definitely succeeded in producing a gothic piece of writing that effects the reader's emotions, her aim however to have such an impact of terror on the reader is dependent on the individual. ...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. In Frankenstein(TM) it is generally accepted that the female characters and their values are ...

    However other critics would point out that Victor's father was still at home as well as Victor's brother Edward, therefore there was no lack of male characters in the Frankenstein home so Elizabeth was missing Victor. Though some critics would argue that the characters of Frankenstein senior and his son

  2. Who is the real monster in Mary Shelleys Frankenstein

    when suddenly her foot slipped and she fell into the rapid stream'. The creature, without thinking of the consequences 'saved her and dragged her to shore'. This action indicates pure humanity, interest and consideration of other people's life. However, a man following the same path, presumed that the creature intended to hurt the girl and 'aimed a gun at (its)

  1. analysis of Frankenstien

    Victor and the Creature are both passionate in their hatred and bitterness towards each other and the alienation they experience in their pursuit of each other. We see them using similar language in their descriptions of not only each other but also themselves with 'wretch' being commonly used throughout the novel, suggesting the similarities in their situations.

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

    This is exemplified symbolically as the weather enshrouds Walton?s ship and his crew; we learn that they ?were compassed round by a thick fog? and that they were ?shut in by ice?. Shelley?s use of pathetic fallacy serves to act as a foreboding for how Walton?s crew may fare on their odyssey, and leaves the reader in tense anticipation.

  1. How does Shelley convey the concept of monstrosity?

    This proves that Frankenstein wanted to be isolated; it was his choice to stay away from people and only keep in touch with those he cared most about. However the monster is also isolate in the novel as he realises how cruel the world is to him; ?hated and despised every country must be equally horrible?.

  2. Through Victors narrative in Volume 1, what social comments about parentage and responsibility is ...

    time upon this (Cornelius Agrippa); it is sad trash?, yet does not fully explain his own reasoning behind this remark; Victor later regards this as a mistake of ?destiny?, and seems to indicate that it was the failure of the role of his parents in diverting him from this course.

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

    The monster becomes a secret member of the family, observing the habits of Felix, Agatha, and old man De Lacey. For the first time in his short life, the creature feels that he has found his place in the world, his justice.

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

    Shelley uses it to good effect and highlights it in chapter 4 when Frankenstein meets Clerval after days of work on the monster. Moreover, in chapter 4 we get a physical representation of Frankenstein?s fear, ?sometimes my pulse beat so quickly and hardly, that I felt the palpitation of every

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