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

Many people these days think of 'Frankenstein' as a horror story. How would you yourself define the novel in terms of genre?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Many people these days think of 'Frankenstein' as a horror story. How would you yourself define the novel in terms of genre? People living in the twentieth century tend to regard horror as a frightening fictional tale. It is a story intended to scare people usually by incorporating gruesome and supernatural events. The films made about Frankenstein are all suited to the horror genre; however I feel that the book actually transcends this genre as it incorporates the religious and moral issues of the time. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in the early eighteen hundreds, an era which has since been referred to as the Age of Enlightenment or Reason. It has been so called as scientists were discovering the laws of physics for the first time, for example Isaac Newton had discovered the force of gravity. These discoveries eventually began to demote the need for God, as progressively the implications of the Bible were dismissed by scientific discoveries. Human beings had always believed that the Earth was in the centre of the universe because they were created by God; however the laws of physics proved this to be incorrect. In the novel Frankenstein has discovered one of Gods precious secrets - he has developed the ability to create human life. ...read more.

Middle

your miserable head...vile insect". It is evident throughout the story that Mary Shelley does not take a favourable view on ambition and regards it as an evil. Through the medium of the book Shelley is trying to deter people from letting ambition take over their lives: "guided by an ardent imagination and childish reasoning". She also allows Walton to turn back from his mission to the North Pole, indicating that Walton had understood the message Frankenstein had conveyed to him. Sometimes it is better to turn away from ambition in order to succeed in life's journey. The warning trait of ambition is not inclined to be a dominant mannerism in horror novels implying the book may have philosophical reasoning. Another trait which is uncommon to horror books is that of a tragic hero - it is more likely to be found in a tragedy. Frankenstein is the perfect example of a tragic hero as like the stereotype he has an extremely happy and fulfilling childhood: "No human being ... a happier childhood than myself." However the fatal flaw which leads to the downfall of the hero is also apparent in Frankenstein. ...read more.

Conclusion

Similar to this model when a disaster occurs, it happens in a cold place like the Arctic: "I endured misery...eternal sentiment of just retribution ...immense rugged mountains of ice". This furthers the link between Frankenstein and Satan who resides in the coldness of hell. The religious meanings portrayed in the book are acting as a caution to the troubles which befall people who defy and try to imitate God. God is omnipotent so He would easily be able to banish people to hell like Satan, an event which was more feared in the early nineteenth century than it would be today. The immense diversity of Frankenstein makes it difficult for it to be placed in a genre. Although it does possess the typical fear-provoking element: "frightful must it be...supremely frightful" the book stretches past the limits of horror. It is a warning to people to think about their actions and contemplate on how far they can take an ambition before it ruins their life. The relationship between Elizabeth and Frankenstein could practically allow the book to be classed as a romance. Principally I believe the book covers far too many moral issues for it to be classed as a horror story resulting in it being too philosophical to be placed in any genre. ...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)

    is presented with a monstrous character; 'I had desired it with ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.' Victor creates a ghastly monster and soon after shows his true monstrous character as he abandons it.

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

    Also present in this scene is a sense of isolation, since Walton is secluded from all civilisation. Granted, he does have his crewmen with him, however there is a distinct barrier between them and Walton; he even admits to Margaret during his letters "I have no friend".

  1. Is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein typicalof the horror genre?

    This seems to be an insight into the future, as Elizabeth will die in the future due to his actions. This creates a Gothic feeling, as it is supernatural, as his dreams seem to show him the future, and this is what sometimes happens in a typically Gothic novel.

  2. The Horror Genre - The Bride of Frankenstein. Can we determine genre from mise-en-scene ...

    of time wanted to see escapist's films which made them forget the real everyday worries. Even though 1,300 banks closed and over 25,000 businesses failed in the USA which was a very bad thing not only for the US but also Europe suffered during that time.

  1. 'Originally conceived as a horror story, "Frankenstein" achieves much more

    radical ideas and had been to public shows where they stimulated the muscles of dead animals or humans to produce twitching. Perhaps it was this which gave birth in her mind to the famous creation scene of Frankenstein? Her mother had died in childbirth and she herself had lost children, which features heavily in the book.

  2. Shelly's ''Frankenstein'' is regarded as the first modern horror novel. It is in fact, ...

    Victor agrees but wonders what this monster will be capable of. He moves to Ireland and constructs the monster but then realises what he is doing and tears it limb from limb under the watch of the monster. For this the monster kills Elizabeth on their wedding night and then Henry Cherval as well.

  1. Consider the View that Frankenstein is a Story of Enduring Moral Relevance.

    Acceptance as well as striving for fame is always a major aspiration of one's life. Racism is an obvious similarity between Frankenstein's society and that of today. These similarities are displayed the moment that the monster is brought into this world.

  2. 'The novel is a powerful examination of, challenge to, what is good and evil ...

    It can be said that upon reading the novel, the reader would undoubtedly expect in the end to receive a sense of closure, and be presented unquestionably with a definite moral lesson. This would be expected particularly in the conservative society on the nineteenth century.

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