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How do Shelley and Fowles present the socially excluded in Frankenstein and The Collector?

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Name: Ben Brooksby Y13 Date: March 2003 Subject: A2 English Literature Title: How do Shelley and Fowles present the socially excluded in Frankenstein and The Collector? Men are numbered among beasts who renounce society, whereby they are destitute of laws and the ordination of civility. Hence this ensures that men, in creation are best, but when averse to justice and the law, are the worst of all creatures. (p.36 intro The Tempest by William Shakespeare, edited by Frank Kermode 1961) For the purpose of this essay, I shall focus my comparison on Victor and Clegg and analyse the language they use. I will also explore the form and structure used and give a personal response which will include some commentary about the novels in terms of their social/historical and literary contexts. People's behaviour in social roles makes possible the life of a society and its members. Social roles are learned from culture, which defines how they should be performed. ...read more.


However, both novels are linked to the same gothic genre in the sense that both texts focus on the "suffering of an individual" (p.78 Abrams, Literary Terms) that is, Miranda suffers because of Clegg's actions and the monster suffers (due to his ugliness) as a creation of Victor. Shelley's novel is sensationalised by the fact that Victor can build a man, and from a supernatural point of view, he actually raises the dead by using "a flash of lightning" p.73 although this is achieved by Victor applying his extended knowledge of science something unheard of in the early 19th century. So the principal aim of such gothic texts is to evoke a chilling terror in the reader by exploiting mystery and a variety of horrors so as to develop a brooding atmosphere of gloom and terror and not forgetting to represent the uncanny, psychological or violent states of minds. For example, Shelley's use of language effectively conveys the gothic genre and does create a chilling atmosphere when Victor describes the monster in Chapter 5 when: I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard........ ...read more.


Arguably, the monster is an unwanted life, that is to say, it is a creation abandoned and shunned by society and Victor his creator. Therefore Shelley's use of letters enables the narrative to shift from one character to another while remaining within the conventions of the standard novel. Letters are also used to good effect as a means of social interaction because characters are frequently out of immediate contact with one another. Walton never encounters his sister in the novel; his relationship with her is based wholly on the use of letters. The same goes for Victor as he often isolates himself from his loved ones but he does receive letters from Alphonse and Elizabeth and this marks attempts to connect with him. Again, the monster uses written communication in order to develop a relationship with Victor when, at the end of the novel, he leads him northward by means of notes on the trees and rocks he passes. ...read more.

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