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Above all else, the Gothic relates to our fears. Discuss with reference to Frankenstein

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Introduction

Above all else, the Gothic relates to our fears. Discuss with reference to Frankenstein The Gothic is a strange genre, touching on the most taboo topics available and making it okay to talk about them. Gothic novels create tales involving incest, homosexuality, fear and inhumanity- most of which are centred around a core of sex or sexual desire. Frankenstein was, of course, written at a time when people were more shockable. In today's society it is fair to say we are less vulnerable to attack- our senses have been dumbed down and we are no longer so easily offended. What is unique about the Gothic is that it still has the shock factor, even in today's society. It doesn't just shock, it takes our most depraved fears, the dark and murky things we hate about ourselves or others and turns them into a story, brings them to life. Thus, shocking even modern readers. The most obvious fear Frankenstein deals with is the fear of creating something with tremendous consequences, consequences that are impossible to predict and impossible to deal with. ...read more.

Middle

"Beautiful- Great God!...but these luxuriance's only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes". It is the classic scenario- realising seconds after you achieve something, that it was exactly what you shouldn't have done, and it works well to create fear in the readers. Of course there are many more sub-fears, minor frights that are perhaps a little deeper and darker than the main fear but the possibility of uncontrollable error is predominant in the essay. Linking to the main fear, is the fear of your mistakes affecting others. Not only is Frankenstein's life ruined by the creation of the monster but it leads to the death of so many of his family and friends. This throws out the theory, and proves it, that Frankenstein is a weak person, hidden underneath intellect. He controlled whether or not Justine was executed for his brother's death, he held life in his hand and he destroyed it. In a similar way, he abused the privilege of birth by creating a monster and then abandoning him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Freud worked on a theory that in a sub conscious way, each sex is somehow in love with the parent of the opposite sex. The daughters feel incestuous love for their fathers while the sons love their mothers in a similar way. It is a dark way of looking on the parent- child relationship and is rarely touched upon. However Shelley brings in Frankenstein's love for his mother, suggesting perhaps that he is loving Elizabeth because, as the only real female influence on his life, he likens her to his mother. Thus, when she is murdered by the monster, Frankenstein is finally brought to his knees. Frankenstein brings together all of the classic Gothic influences and builds them into a whirl of fear and depravity. And Shelley cleverly arranges events so that everything we see as dark and deadly and impossible, suddenly becomes real and frightening. But, as most Gothic novels go, there is a hidden meaning- something that only becomes apparent at the end of the book. The most horrifying part of Frankenstein then surely must be, that in the end we discover we have been deceived. It was no the creation that was the monster, but the creator. BECKY DENHAM ...read more.

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