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Frankenstein was written in 1818 by Mary Shelley. It is a Gothic novel a man trying to play God. It is deeply disturbing and was written after the death of Shelleys first child.

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Introduction

'Frankenstein' was written in 1818 by Mary Shelley. It is a Gothic novel a man trying to play God. It is deeply disturbing and was written after the death of Shelley's first child. Mary Shelley's life was indeed unorthodox. The first hint of the strange life she was going to lead was shown when she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, a radicalist novelist and poet. 'Frankenstein' was the result of a challenge issued by Lord Byron to a group of his friends one night in a mansion owned by Byron on the shores of Lake Geneva. These friends included Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Poliadori (whose answer to the challenge was the first vampyre novel 'The Vampyre'). The novel was spawned from a nightmare Mary had about a young man kneeling horrified beside something he had created, something alive. At the beginning of the book Victor Frankenstein explains how his parents came to be together and a little about their lives until he was born. He then tells how his 'cousin' Elizabeth is adopted by his parents. Later he gained a sibling, a brother and when his parents had another son they ceased their wandering life completely and settled down in Geneva. When he was 17 Frankenstein was going to go to University but this was postponed when his mother died. ...read more.

Middle

present' by his mother is relevant as in his 'childish seriousness' he takes these words literally and always regards Elizabeth as only his, his 'beautiful and adored companion of all occupations and [his] pleasures'. Thus anything happening to Elizabeth would deeply affect Frankenstein. It is also important that early on in the novel Frankenstein describes Henry Clerval as one who wished to become one of the 'gallant and adventurous benefactors of our species' and also that 'Clerval occupied himself....with the moral relation of things'. This is relevant as what Frankenstein is going to do later in the story is decidedly immoral. This helps to create a feeling of suspense as the reader will wonder if Clerval will stay with Frankenstein or condemn his actions. However, we are also at an advantage writing about characters as we are getting an insight into Victor Frankenstein's heart and soul. We know that form childhood he was filled with a 'passion' and a 'desire to learn' 'the physical secrets of the world', here we get a suggestion of what will take place later. We also know that Victor Frankenstein is a decidedly selfish and self-centred man. An example of this when he says 'but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death,', here Frankenstein is concerned with the glory HE would receive from this, not the act itself. ...read more.

Conclusion

I wrote about the setting of 'Frankenstein', how Frankenstein separated and hid his laboratory and creation from the rest of the world. How this showed that he was ashamed of what he was doing and afraid that the world would be afraid of his creation and not accept what he was doing. This would build tension and suspense, of what would happen when the world DID find out about his 'experiment'. I wrote about the gothic element in 'Frankenstein' the terror created by the repulsiveness of the creature and the pathetic fallacy used to create an atmosphere in very important scenes and also to give an almost eerie, surreal feeling to the creation of the monster. Although now-a-days we read Frankenstein in a grammar school as a piece of GCSE coursework back in the early 19th Century this novel would have been extremely terrifying. Its readers would not have ever seen horrifying special effects, for example extremely gory violence. Back then people were mostly unused to being scared and so they were more susceptible to it, especially the techniques used by Mary Shelley. I think that Mary Shelley was very successful in writing not only a horrifying and suspense filled novel, but also a radical thinking story that even in today's world of 'scary movies' can still hold its own as an extremely 'scary novel' that will continue to terrify and excite its readers for many years to come. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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