• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In what ways can Mary Shelley's

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In what ways can Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" Be considered as a Gothic novel? Can Gothic literature still appeal to us today? Gothic Literature was most popular from about 1764 until 1832, a period of nearly seventy years. At this time there were many successful and famous authors who wrote books which contained a somewhat 'gothic theme'. These include the famous Bront[R1]� Sisters with the novels 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Jane Eyre', both of which can be found on many modern bookshelves of today. As well as the famous sisters, well know authors, of the time, also included Ann Radcliffe with her 'Mysteries of Udolpho' and Horace Walpole's 'The Castle of Otranto'. Amongst the most famous Gothic writers Mary Shelley can also be found with her chilling story of 'Frankenstein'. Each book of this period will have contained some key characteristics to make it distinguishable from other books in history. The characteristics deal with aspects of the story or novel, and are usually very prominent within the book. These include the setting, nature, atmosphere, presence of the supernatural, plot, characters and language of the story. Mary Shelley, when writing 'Frankenstein', may have been influenced by other Gothic writers of her time, as well as ideas and events, which took place around her. At the same time that Shelley wrote 'Frankenstein' there were many new discoveries taking place and scientific research was just reaching a higher level. Shelley had a great understanding of the scientific debates and discoveries of her time and this was due to her inquisitive streak for the new discoveries in chemistry, and the secret life that it might provide. The first stages of the Industrial Revolution were also taking place and the French Revolution was the start of a new era in history. It is also known that Shelley reveals an outraged awareness of social injustice and a passionate desire for reform within her novel. ...read more.

Middle

Apart from the monster there are no other supernatural events that happen but it is a mystery how the monster manages to travel and follow Victor across the country without even knowing his final destinations. As well as the setting, atmosphere of the story and the nature of events, the plot of a Gothic novel is also very significant. Most Gothic novels have a plot of mystery and suspense, which would be built on horror and melodrama. It is also true to say that the plot would be focused on a theme of revenge and this is certainly true in Shelley's 'Frankenstein'. Throughout the whole of the story there are two main characters that are seeking revenge. They include the monster, who wants revenge over Victor and his family because he hates Victor for creating him, and Victor who wants revenge over the monster for destroying everything that he cared for in his world! However, it is at the very beginning of the story that we find a plot of suspense and mystery. This is shown when the narrator hints that there is a secret among the whole story but that it shall only be revealed at the end; the reader is left in mystery: "I see by your eagerness, and the wonder and hope which your eyes express, my friend, that you expect to be informed of the secret with which I am acquainted; that cannot be: listen patiently until the end of my story..." An example of where the monster feels revenge towards Victor (and the rest of the human race) is when he is explaining how unhappy he is to his creator. This is when he expresses his hate for Victor and all human beings that would not except him: "...from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me..." The word "war" in this extract implies that there is a very strong hate between the monster and the human race but this is considerably understandable because he was unaccepted for no reason other than his hideous appearance. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is definitely true to say that all of these aspects contained within a Gothic novel help to make them far more exciting than they would otherwise be. They also allow the mind to wander into that of a supernatural and usually scary but very interesting and exciting world. However, can Gothic literature still appeal to us today? A modern day gothic novel is probably thought of as one that is a horror story based on old gothic ideas. When you think of a horror story pictures of bats, ghosts and other supernatural occurrences usually come into your head and are particularly popular with the younger generations of today, who like anything that scares them. However, in a modern society we would probably not accept reading literature that is as 'over blown' and exaggerated as that of the gothic genre. However, authors have realised this and there are many who write in more of a Gothic form, but without the 'inflated' language. These include Stephen King with many of his novels, the most recent of which, 'The Dream Catcher' written in 2001, is a story of four men's experiences with a 'creature from another world'. This follows the gothic theme of the supernatural and Stephen King is definitely a very popular author of today and is also well know for his novel 'Carrie', which has also been made into a film. Written in 1974, it is said to be a 'very scary story' where a girl, bullied at school, finds out she has abnormal powers which she uses to seek revenge over her bullies. A typically Gothic theme and yet still very appealing. As well as King there are many other modern Gothic authors including Christine Feeham with her Scarletti Curse (2001), Evelyn Rogers with Devil in the Dark (2001) in addition to The Wolf of Haskell Hall by Colleen Shannon. These are just a few, but in turn they prove that Gothic Literature can still appeal to us today if horror, mystery, supernatural and 'dark' stories are what you like to read. [R1] Antonia Redgrove English Coursework Frankenstein - I - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Mary Shelley essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Frankenstein has been described as a 'novel of the Gothic genre' do you feel ...

    4 star(s)

    The monster finds 'a leathern portmanteau, containing several articles of dress and some books...they consisted of Paradise Lost, a volume of Plutarch's Lives and the Sorrows of Werter'. The books the monster reads are from highly regarded works of literature and would influence him, giving him a broader knowledge of issues in society.

  2. How Is Frankenstein a Typical Gothic Novel?

    Here we see once again the 'abuse and misuse of science', but maybe even worse, we see the character trying to be God. Victor Frankenstein, perhaps not so innocently, took on the role of God and it ended in tragedy.

  1. How does Mary Shelley present Frankenstein the monster and what do we find out ...

    They are both over ambitious and their preparations including giving up sleep and food shows that they are determined to do what they set out to do and nothing can get in their way. Both of their quests seem too dangerous and are also pushing the boundaries too far.

  2. To what extent is Frankenstein typical of the Gothic genre?

    The death of Caroline from the scarlet fever ensures that Victor and Elizabeth will eventually be wed, meaning Elizabeth can be taken away from Victor, leading onto his hellish existence. On top of this, his mother's death also fortifies Victor's resolve to pursue the goal of bestowing life on an inanimate corpse.

  1. "'Frankenstein' uses many characteristics of the Gothic genre to arouse the interest of the ...

    While the term "monster" is often used to describe anything terrifyingly unnatural, it initially had far more precise connotations, and these are of some significance for the ways in which the monstrous comes to function within the gothic.

  2. Common things about Gothic Literature.

    "Frankenstein" combines the latter with the Gothic element of horror and terror to exemplify the immorality of what Victor Frankenstein does. The many references to his undertaking as "The secret I was acquainted with" and the "one secret I alone possessed" seem to emphasise that Frankenstein is shrouding himself in secrecy as he is aware that he is transgressing.

  1. Frankenstein Literature coursework

    victor scared of his creation he is also disappointed in what he has created, for example "I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body" this gives the reader the impression that Victor is also ashamed of what he has made that he wants to even get rid of it.

  2. Frankenstein" by Mary ShelleyFrom your reading of the novel, say whether or not Victor ...

    of a lustrous black, and following; his teeth of pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a horrid contrast with his watery eyes. (Volume 1, Chapter 5, p59) As the monster has to grow up on his own and live his dependent years by himself, he often endures vicious reactions from the people he encounters due to his appearance.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work