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In what way is Frankenstein typical of the gothic genre

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In what way is Frankenstein typical of the gothic genre? Generically, Frankenstein can be considered gothic in numerous ways, to understand and interpret theses effectively and in depth we must first outline the usual features and aspects of the gothic genre. The gothic genre is somewhat expected to contain vivid features of life and death, religion; or the lack/ defiance of it and the struggle of good versus evil. To be portrayed in a novel such as Frankenstein the author must have an existing aspiration to feature the gothic genre in the novel as gothic is a particular field of literature this is clearly acknowledged by Shelley as she clearly described her intentions to 'awaken thrilling horror (Frankenstein 1831: intro) Throughout Frankenstein Mary Shelley, the author often disguises the vivid gothic aspects of the novel, in and amongst regularly applied features found in a novel that would be considered a standard or general fiction read. "The gothic genre exposes and explores desires, anxieties and fears that both society and individual, in there striving to maintain stability attempt to suppress: it is interested in the exploration of what is forbidden, is the dissolution of certainties, categories: above all, it is associated with transgression: not only do the texts themselves, in crossing the boundaries of the 'real' transgress, but transgression is a central focus of the gothic plot: all barriers are broken down, all forbidden areas penetrated." ...read more.


Victor's emotions at this point are summarised in the following extracts; 'I beheld the accomplishment of my toils with an anxiety that almost amounted to agony'. Shelley clearly wants the reader to acknowledge Victor's 'anxiety' as she uses language that, at the time of print, would have been understood as more powerful then it would be in a modern society. Shelley continues to amount the emotions; 'I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation'. 'I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness'. Even through these short extracts Shelley gives a clear insight into Victor's desperation and anguish, these extreme emotions, especially when being applied to such an immoral act, are clearly intended to be interpreted as disturbing and ultimately gothic. Still Shelley continues to amount emotions by giving Victor an outburst of strong powerful language, that again would have been interpreted as more powerful and 'ruder' then it would nowadays, as a result of the widespread use of words previously considered as rude, perverse and unacceptable; 'CURSED, CURSED CREATOR! Why did I live? Why, in that instant did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?' That extract shows Victor's madness and desperation have mounted to give an overwhelming aura of confusion, Victor has finally achieved the 'accomplishment of ...read more.


The themes of death and murder; again play an important role in Frankenstein, the deaths of Justine and Caroline and the murders of William and Elizabeth. These deaths can be considered as evil, disturbing and upsetting, especially when all the deaths are of people very close to Victor and they are all as a result of his work and wrongdoing. In conclusion all aspects of the deaths in Frankenstein can be seen as gothic. The use of pathetic fallacy in Frankenstein can be described as gothic. Pathetic fallacy is when the attribution of human emotions or characteristics are given to inanimate objects or to nature. Pathetic fallacy is often used in Frankenstein to further represent Victor's feelings and ill state. An example of this is the outbreak of cholera in Ingolstadt at the point when Victor is at his most distressed and most ill. This outbreak represents Victor's anguish and ill state whilst simultaneously adding further tension and stress to the novel at a time when the general aura can already be considered as stressful and troubled. Pathetic fallacy is often a feature of the gothic genre. E.g. When something is wrong or there is evil nearby the weather is usually dark, stormy or agitated. Pathetic fallacy adds a great deal of tension to any novel as it brings more tension and further hints to the reader as to the events to follow. ?? ?? ?? ?? William Biggs Friday, 04 March 2005 1 ...read more.

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