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Originally conceived as a ghost story Frankenstein achieves much more. Do you agree?

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Introduction

Originally conceived as a ghost story "Frankenstein" achieves much more. Do you agree? In 1816 Mary Shelly wrote one of the most recognised and influential ghost stories of all time 'Frankenstein'. Described as a ghost story it has many qualities to suggest this, using setting and situation throughout the book. Although 'Frankenstein' could easily be perceived as just a horror story, beneath this are many other themes that take the stories deeper, these include: appearance and reality, showing how these do not always coincide with each other; the loneliness and isolation that the creature is pushed into and that Frankenstein assigns to himself; the dangers of obsession; the relationship between man and god and then the relationship between creator and creation; a warning of what can happen if you turn away from nature and the horror of childbirth, of which Mary Shelley would have felt very personal about after losing her own mother at childbirth. 'Frankenstein' has been very influential on ghost stories since this was written, as many now include similar factors; people being terrorised and killed, the super natural and an ending filled with despair and tragedy. The book is written using Chinese box narration, changing between three different narrators. This allows the reader to go deeper into the story, showing that behind every story another one can unfold. ...read more.

Middle

Both men are obsessed by one thing, Walton writing in his letter 'I dedicated myself to this great enterprise' and Frankenstein admitting that he had 'worked hard for nearly two years, for this sole purpose'. At many places in the book it mentions of how because of obsession Victor compromises his physical and psychological state and the relationships and lives of his family. As written in chapter five he 'deprived' himself 'of rest and health' and similar to this, Walton writes in his letter how he also has 'voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst and want of sleep'. Frankenstein also suffers from obsession as he pushes people away from him, especially his love Elizabeth, and again Walton is indifferent as he writes to a beloved one a long way away, which suggests he has been away from her a long time. The two characters are both very alike wanting to be remembered in history with Walton saying 'I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path'. Because of these similarities Walton is then able to see his future self through Victor, and therefore sees this as a warning, eventually turning back. This also links to the theme of being a warning, that it may go wrong as when Victor talks to the Captain saying, 'I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you', hoping that for Walton it does not turn bad as it did for himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

and Adam the first creations trying to explain this to Frankenstein saying to him, 'I ought to be thy Adam' At this point Victor believes in the total opposite, and wants nothing to do with his creation that he now regrets, trying to rid the monster telling him 'there can be no community between you and me' 'we are enemies' it is only later on when he starts to listen and feel for his creation that he 'felt what the duties of a creator towards his creature were' and that he 'ought to render him'. I think that to many people Frankenstein is one of the most well known horror stories including all of the ingredients to frighten the audience. To me, I believe that Frankenstein is much less a horror story as it is a novel that questions our society and the people living in it. The old man tells the monster 'the hearts of men, when unprejudiced by any obvious self-interest, are full of brotherly love and charity'. Throughout this book this quote is proved untrue. That people are always kind and giving when it does not interfere with their own interests, is shown as wrong. This book criticizes society and man, how prejudiced we are and the greed for fame. Although this book was written nearly 200 years ago the same messages still apply to today's modern society. By Amy Smith MiDr ...read more.

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