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Examine one or two sections of Frankenstein, analyse for evidence of specific generic features and consider the novels possible influences.

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Frankenstein Essay Examine one or two sections of Frankenstein, analyse for evidence of specific generic features and consider the novels possible influences. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein tells a malignant tale of a young exceptionally able student of natural philosophy who seeks knowledge and the secrets of the human anatomy. He discovers the secret of life which up to then only God was capable of and his curiosity drives him to create a living-being. The creation is described as a 'catastrophe' and is abandoned by his initiator, and thus the being mutates into a cruel and merciless wretch committing heinous crimes and swearing a brutal revenge on his creator. In the introduction to Frankenstein, Mary Shelley tries to answer the question frequently asked of her; "How I, then a young girl, came to think of, and to dilate upon, so very hideous an idea?" This query has always been raised, how might Mary Shelley stranded in the period of romanticism which stressed the importance of the individual through their imagination and intellectualism come to think of original fiction as inconceivable as Frankenstein. Her answer covers vast memories and pastimes from her childhood including her visits to "picturesque parts" such as Scotland. Also a favourite childhood recreation was to "write stories" and her evocative imagination which could conjure images of "castles in the air - the indulging in waking dreams - the following trains of thought" all would have furthered her imaginative writing skills, creative talent and help fulfil her literary promise. ...read more.


Furthermore he has peers who have distinct Romantic features, for instance his sister Elizabeth busied herself with "aerial creations of the poets and in the majestic and wondrous scenes" showing she had a creative nature and an ardour for poetry, much like Shelley's spouse Percy Shelley. Frankenstein is also 'surrounded by nature'; he lives in Geneva, in the countryside with his sister which could bring about influences to the literary arts as it does his sister and his best friend Henry Clerval and away from scientific investigation. Perhaps this is where the innocence of Frankenstein emanates, the innocence that Shelley tries to give him. Romantic features within the novel differentiate before and after the creation of the monster. The most obvious change before the creation is how the atmosphere and setting are described, for instance Shelley describes the seasons, illustrating a more colourful scene in the reader's mind and the seasons also represent nature and tranquillity. The making and creating of the monster was executed within a dim city, a very anti romantic setting, Shelley would have used this setting to exaggerate depression and darkness within the chapters during the creation. Shelley also mentions disease and famine being unleashed in the city of Ingolstadt; the author might have used this disease to warn citizens and even the reader of the evil to come; the monster. After the creation Victor and the monster both travel through countryside and remote places such as Scotland and Ireland which fit the Romantic ideals. ...read more.


This novel has also said to have biblical references and tells the terrible consequences of playing god and how Frankenstein is punished for his actions. The novel's subtitle 'The Modern Prometheus' links also to god, Prometheus being the Greek titan who stole fire from the gods and was punished by Zeus. Although the Latin version of the tale consists of Prometheus making man from clay and water, both versions link greatly to Frankenstein, though Frankenstein is not punished by God directly but by his suffering made by his own creation and thoughts. The novel can also be seen as Shelley demoting the romanticist's ideals, although she does not demolish their motives but instead questions them. For instance the reason for the death of William challenges the idea of the innocence of childhood and why all the deaths within the novel occur in the wild when in fact the romanticists believed nature to be a peaceful and serene place. Other suggestions may be the protagonist's characteristics and how he is fascinated by knowledge and not literature, poetry or even another form of art. From the two sections I have studied, these being chapters five and ten, Chapter five shows significant gothic and anti romantic themes, as the chapter itself reflects turmoil and darkness in the grim descriptions of Frankenstein's surroundings and in his own grim thoughts. Whereas Chapter 10 displays more romantic forms with the peaceful scenes of nature, though forms of anti romanticism are expressed in the chapter when the 'fiend' infiltrates this environ with the essence of darkness and despair. ...read more.

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