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Discuss to what extent and to what effect Mary Shelley's Frankenstein employs typical features of the gothic tradition

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Introduction

Discuss to what extent and to what effect Mary Shelley's Frankenstein employs typical features of the gothic tradition as defined above. One of the most important aspects of any gothic novel is setting. Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is an innovative and disturbing work that weaves a tale of passion, misery, dread, and remorse. Some would argue that Frankenstein is a classic gothic novel. By a classily gothic novel it is meant that the story employs a traditionally scary theme. This could include such things as Dark and dreary castles set in isolated surroundings replete wit dungeons. Supernatural beings such as ghosts and living dead may be included in the twisted, thrilling, unveiling tale. The novel does contain many gothic characteristics in a sense that it does explore the uses of dark dreary basements, where the monstrous creature is made. Frankenstein is not set in a dull and dreary basement but you could say that where Frankenstein worked on his creation to be a gloomy dreary room. ...read more.

Middle

A rhetorical question is used in the first paragraph; it is used to make the reader build a picture of just how hideous the monster is. Page 45 "How could I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how can delineate the wretch whom which such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form?" Page 45 "His limbs were in proportion and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful!" - Great god! Throughout chapter five, when read between the lines one can begin to discover that Victor Frankenstein is beginning to believe that he is god himself the creator of life and all beings. This has much significance in respect to horrific behaviour of Victor Frankenstein. Chapter five is full of harsh but appealing words. Most of these are used in description of the creature. "I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open" The novel contains internal and external horror in ways that deceit ones mind into feeling sympathetic to Victor during the agonising mental torture of Justine's trial for the murder of Mary and Victor's son William. ...read more.

Conclusion

He has no evil intentions towards anyone or anything at this stage, he is still innocent. When Frankenstein fell asleep he had an awful nightmare evolving Elizabeth and his dead mother. "I embraced her; but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form, and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of the funnel." This is a long sentence that helps to build up tension, which helps create drama and atmosphere. This sentence also hints at what is to happen to Elizabeth as later on in the novel she is killed by the monster on there wedding night and in the sentence Mary Shelly has used the alliteration of "folds of the funnel" to emphasise the element of horror. Such descriptive words as shroud, grave-worms and corpse all create a sense of reality. They are harsh and produce internal horror. In all I think that Frankenstein can be classed as classically gothic novel. ...read more.

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