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To what extent is 'Frankenstein' typical of gothic literature? In your answer make close reference to its context and Mary Shelley's use of language.

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Introduction

To what extent is 'Frankenstein' typical of gothic literature? In your answer make close reference to its context and Mary Shelley's use of language. 'Frankenstein' is typical of gothic literature as it fulfils and contains many of the characteristics of a gothic genre for example: good versus evil, supernatural elements, grotesque and savage creatures, nature used to create atmosphere, the dark side of human nature, isolated characters, developments in science and technology, suspense and mystery and the breakdown of boundaries and the exploration of what is forbidden. 'Frankenstein' was written at a time of great changes in British society and at a time of social and political upheaval. Galvanism was just being explored at this time and she applies this to the newly discovered electricity in order to create the monster. The French Revolution was also taking place as well as the Industrial Revolution and 'Frankenstein' reflects these changes about social injustice and passionate desire for reform. It is also believed that the Monster is an emblem of the struggle for the working class against the upper class, who in this case is Frankenstein, as a metaphor. ...read more.

Middle

Mary Shelley uses emotive language to try and provoke reaction from the reader or viewer. "I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and triumph; remember that, and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me?" Mary Shelley is appealing to the sympathy and compassion of the reader to create a sense of integrity about the Monster. The Monster also uses this quote to try and convince Frankenstein to create a female version of the Monster. Mary Shelley also uses adjectives and adverbs to intensify the character's feelings. "... in the last moments of my existence I feel that burning hatred and ardent desire of revenge I once expressed, but I feel justified in desiring the death of my adversary." This is one of Frankenstein's last words in which he expresses why he wanted to kill the Monster and chase after it, which was to save the human race as a whole and to do the correct thing. This line also shows how deep and unbearable Frankenstein's feelings were towards the Monster. ...read more.

Conclusion

The gothic style provides her with a wonderful atmosphere in which to explore how the future can be thought about in the terms of the past. I also think that this novel written in 1818 can not discount the fact that it was written three years after Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. What was put aside was the spectre of Napoleon's desire to control the world as known then, we see the confrontation of the medieval megalomania being triumphed over. Perhaps, Shelley is using the gothic style in order to look to the future. Shelley makes use of rhetoric in order to persuade the reader. She does this by getting Robert Walton's isolation at the beginning, meeting the intermediate isolation of Frankenstein and the future isolation of the monster by allowing them to encounter each other in the gothic mode, hauntingly. Frankenstein the novel, illustrates the gothic by placing it in the context of a 'gothic castle' where Frankenstein does his experiments. It looks back to the middle ages where the wild, the mystery, the horror, are used to chill the spine and curdle the blood. Mary Shelley uses a gothic style to explore the romanticism of the period by trying to explain life itself and how scary a question that is. ...read more.

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