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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 typically thought of as Gothic Literature. There are many reasons why one might make this assumption. It contains 'grotesque and savage creatures' such as the monster and solitary characters like Frankenstein, Robert Walton and the monster. 'Frankenstein' was written during a time of social unrest. There were many changes occurring in society such as the industrial revolution. There were also lots of tension between the lower and upper classes such as The French Revolution. Shelley's parents, a feminist and a philosopher opened her eyes to these revolutionary ideas. One of these ideas was galvanism, which later gave Shelley the idea of bringing the monster in 'Frankenstein' to life. During Shelley's life, she lost 3 children, which was one reason why she was so obsessed with death; her own experiences influenced her to concentrate on the fact of life and death. 'Frankenstein' originates from a ghost story, which Mary Shelley told from a nightmare she had previously had. Her husband encouraged her to expand the book and have it published, which she did in 1818. ...read more.

Middle

He has a warm heart but no one will accept him, causing him to misbehave for attention from his creator, Frankenstein. The monster is indirectly referred to as Satan as they are both related to evil and death; however by performing galvanism, Frankenstein is compared to god due to creating life. God and Satan is the perfect example of good versus evil, making the monster and Frankenstein equally good and evil. Mary Shelley uses emotive language throughout the novel; she chose adjectives and adverbs to intensify the characters' feelings. In numerous occasions, Frankenstein says "Alas!" making certain things seem more dramatic, He also uses exaggerated phrases such as "ardently desired" and "frantic impulse". Frankenstein cannot always express his feelings verbally but Mary Shelley finds a clever way of fitting it in through a dream, in which he thought he saw Elizabeth and so he embraced her and kissed her on the lips. Shelley reintroduces the gothic atmosphere writing "but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death". This element is quite disturbing as Elizabeth changes into his mother's corpse. There are several instances of life and death occurring during the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

The monster threatens Frankenstein that he will be at his wedding, "It is well. I go; but remember, I shall be with you on your wedding-night", this echoes in the readers mind as they feel scared as Shelley has portrayed a sense of mystery and it shows the build up of suspense. There is no closure at the end of the story, "He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in distance and darkness", which is a typically gothic ending as it ends in darkness with a cliff-hanger leaving the reader to fear the monster's return. 'Frankenstein' is clearly typical of gothic literature due to the isolation of the characters, the differences between life and death, the emotive language, the weather and the setting as well as the general gothic, frightening atmosphere. Throughout the novel, 'Frankenstein', Mary Shelley was exploring her own background by using some of her mother's ideas as well as the style of her father's novels. She created a typically gothic atmosphere which helps the reader to experience the depth of the story. In my opinion, 'Frankenstein' creates a gothic genre which illustrates the importance of life and death as well as teaching the reader to take responsibility in their actions and to not leave anyone in isolation. ...read more.

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