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Using close analysis of 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley and 'Dracula' by Bram Stoker, explain, using evidence, how both contain the characteristics of the gothic horror genre.

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Introduction

Using close analysis of 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley and 'Dracula' by Bram Stoker, explain, using evidence, how both contain the characteristics of the gothic horror genre. I have been asked to write an essay comparing the two gothic horror novels, 'Frankenstein' and 'Dracula', explaining the characteristics of gothic horror. Frankenstein was written in 1818 by Mary Shelley. Shelley was born in August of 1797; during this time was a high interest of gothic horror genre. Shelley was inspired to write Frankenstein by the emotions she felt loosing her children. Shelley's hopes of re-animating a corpse are transferred through the character or victor. The fact the novel is of the gothic horror genre was possibly the influence of the period it was written. The plot deals with the conflict within Frankenstein. Due to his love of the sciences he resurrects parts of dead corpses to form one monster like creature. Victor's dreams to create a new life are demolished when Victor rejects the disgusting sight along with all people. The monster misunderstood and alone decides to take revenge by killing the people most close to Victor. Victor realises it is only him who can and must destroy what he created. But whilst he attempts this he is requested by the monster to create him another monster like companion. ...read more.

Middle

As something major is going to happen tension is often built up via intense description and pathetic fallacy. "The wind came now with fiercer and more bitter sweeps." As the weather is worsening so is the situation. Pathetic fallacy is also used often in this way in Frankenstein too. "The rain pattered dismally against the pains and my candle was nearly burnt out." The dismal rain sets a dismal atmosphere. The mention of the candle almost burnt out suggests that something dire is about to happen. There is often supernatural description in gothic horror novels. In Dracula Lucy is described as being "...like a nightmare of Lucy...the pointed teeth, the bloodstained, voluptuous mouth ...the whole carnal and unspiritual appearance, seeming like a devilish mockery of Lucy's sweet purity" This is typical of the Gothic horror genre. The idea of vampires is super natural and is Gothic in itself. Again, the descriptions become ever more intense, leading up to horror. The horror here is the act of releasing Lucy's spirit from the possessed body. As the stake is hammered into the heart "The Thing in the coffin writhed...The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions...while the blood from the pierced heart welled and spurted up around it." This again demonstrates the Gothic tradition and the horror that is connected to it. ...read more.

Conclusion

He later exclaims that he is, "...alone in the castle with those awful women. Faugh!...They are devils of the pit!...Goodbye, all! Mina!" conveying his desperate situation to the reader. Stoker uses exclamation marks in order to portray Jonathan's shock, these create a certain abruptness to the text, thus shocking the reader. Commas and semi-colons are used here. These suggest to the reader sharp intakes of breath, hence indicating shock and fear. There is also repetition of the word "and" this seems to add to the description, therefore the situation feels more intense. Frankenstein seems to be a novel that deals with morals, conventions and the significance of human beings as a whole. Where as Dracula is deals more with humans as individuals. Two very different styles are used in Dracula and Frankenstein. Although both convey what is essentially known as 'Gothic horror', they are two very different stories and they set out to suggest very different morals through the themes that are used. Despite the fact that each author suggests different morals, they do both touch on the importance and meaning of human life. The novels were both written in a time where people were questioning their place in the world. The two monsters portrayed within the novels perhaps reflect society during that period. I enjoyed both novels especially Dracula due to the unique way the novel had been structured. Both novels shared similar moral messages though Frankenstein was probably more clear than that that of Dracula's. ...read more.

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