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Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' is a novel that contains many different gothic elements. Discuss these elements.

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Nick Couzens Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' is a novel that contains Many different gothic elements. Discuss these elements. Gothic novels originated from gothic architecture, this medieval type of architecture was pointed arches, cathedrals, ruins and ancient statues, therefore these novels where very often set in a gloomy castle replete with dungeons, secret passages and sliding panels. Gothic novels were written mainly to induce terror in their readers; they also served to show the dark side of human nature. The foundations that make an excellent gothic horror novel are the inclusion of supernatural elements, a story line that builds up suspense and tension, which also frightens the reader. There should also be a struggle between good and evil, this is represented in the cathedrals where god is good against the cold gloomy atmosphere and the gargoyle statues that sit on top of the cathedrals, which is evil. These gargoyle statues inspired writers because of their scary looks, which was to drive away any evil spirits. The weather is also an element, which should be included, where the atmosphere is overcast and dull. Surprisingly, there were a vast number of female Gothic authors. Frankenstein is not set in a dull and dreary castle, but you could say that where Frankenstein worked on his creation to be a gloomy dreary room. Most of these gothic novels are more likely to be set in a castle. Many of the elements previously mentioned appeared in Frankenstein. For example, nature is used frequently to create atmosphere. The bleak, glacial fields of the Alps and the mists of the Arctic serve to indicate the isolation of the two protagonists (central characters). There is also a struggle between good and evil throughout the story, an example of this is seen in Frankenstein and his monster. We also get a lot of suspense around the person who is going to die example of this is before Elizabeth dies when Frankenstein thinks he is going to die. ...read more.


In this chapter Frankenstein first realises that he has been creating evil and is sickened by what he has done. He also knows he should not try to act as god and his attitude had changed from respected scientist to a possessed and obsessive person. Chapter 5 starts of with a description of the weather and this sets the scene instantly. Before the monster awakes Frankenstein says "my candle was nearly burnt out", which suggests he had given up and was going mad but then we get the first introduction to the monster at the bottom of the 1st paragraph where it says, "I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated the limbs." From this first description you can start to imagine the ugliness of the creation Frankenstein had created. The next thing that is said is a rhetorical question and this is there to make the reader imagine how hideous the monster must be. This is also where you see Frankenstein question what he has created and he starts to realise the horrifying thing he has done. The rest of this paragraph describes the monster and how horrifying it looks.Co.Uk Now that Frankenstein had created the monster, he couldn't bare to look at his own creations face, "the beauty of the dream vanished, and the breathless horror and disgust filled my heart." this also shows he wanted to make mankind and become god like. He is filled with regret and horror with his creation and then runs away from the room it was in, he also couldn't sleep or compose his mind all night long- " At length lassitude succeeded to the tumult I had before endured, and I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness" Here Mary Shelly has used a long sentence to reflect the length of the night and alliteration to emphasis Frankenstein's complete exhaustion. ...read more.


There are a lot of descriptive words that are used to emphasis what the different aspects are like. For example, how the characters feel, what the setting is like etc- "Morning, dismal and wet, at length dawned and discovered to my sleepless and aching eyes the church of Ingolstadt" At this point Mary Shelly uses this to mirror the story and it shows how Frankenstein is feeling. Mary Shelly also uses the weather "black and comfortless sky" to reflect his feelings by using these dull and grim colours. You can also see he has become very stressed "the load that weighed upon my mind", which means that he needs to be rescued from his madness. This gothic novel used all of the typical ingredients, which make up an admirable gothic novel. Mary Shelly made up a creation that was supernatural and this monster was opposite to humans as it had unnatural strength and its looks where just to horrifying to be human. Mary Shelly included long sentence, which built up suspense, and tension that made the reader feel more frightened and scared. I liked how she included the struggle between good and evil through the protagonists and she varied their views. Death was also a major part as we seen death all the way through, starting with a cholera epidemic and Frankenstein raiding graveyards for the various parts of the human body, then later the murders of his family and friends by his creation. I think the atmosphere was built up mainly by the use of the weather and how it always reflected his feelings and what it was trying to hint at. Atmosphere was there to frighten the reader and build up the fear. In my opinion I think that this novel does not frighten me as much as the film did but it was an excellent novel. I think Mary Shelley did good work in trying to fulfil the right reaction from reading the story. I also think that when this novel was written it would have been scary for the people at that time, rather than now. ...read more.

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