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With particular reference to Chapters 4 and 5, analyse how Mary Shelley creates gothic horror and suspense in Frankenstein

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Introduction

With particular reference to Chapters 4 and 5, analyse how Mary Shelley creates gothic horror and suspense in 'Frankenstein' Mary Shelley creates gothic horror and suspense in 'Frankenstein' through the use of linguistic techniques and effective choices. Exploring these linguistic techniques and vocabulary helps us to understand in greater detail exactly how Shelley creates gothic horror and suspense. Gothic horror began with the use of emotional extremes to induce feelings of horror within the mind of the reader. The juxtaposition of these emotional extremes are usually expressed in the form of contrasting themes in gothic horror writing. This can be seen in the use romanticism. While romanticism is not necessarily about love it is associated with nature and the natural world whilst gothic horror is associated with themes such as darkness, death and the supernatural. Gothic horror and romanticism are often used together to create tension or suspense through contrast. In this way horror and romanticism are juxtaposed emphasising the conventional levels this kind of genre. In order to understand why Shelley creates so much gothic horror and suspense, it is important to think about the context of the novel. Shelley's ideas and views about science are strongly reflected in her writing. She feared the development of science and foresaw a time that scientists would exceed moral boundaries and become obsessed and unethical in their work. This fear is personified in the creation of the main character of the novel: Victor Frankenstein. ...read more.

Middle

This is clear in the choice of vocabulary that Shelley intended this part of the novel to be the most dramatic. Shelley uses isolation as a literary technique to create gothic horror and suspense. In the novel the main character Frankenstein 'paid no visit to Geneva' whilst he was working to create the monster. In working so hard, Frankenstein isolated himself from others and concentrated only on his goals being 'solely wrapped up' in his purpose. Through this Shelley makes it clear to the reader that Frankenstein is alone, thus creating suspense as the reader assumes that something will go wrong and in the event of this there will be nobody to help Frankenstein. Shelley's choice of vocabulary, gothic words and phrases, is a contributory factor in the development of horror and suspense in Chapter four. Shelley's repetition of the word 'darkness' is used to create horror and suspense in the novel. This is a deliberate and effective attempt by Shelley to create a frightening atmosphere. The darkness is emphasised through repetition. Shelley chooses to emphasise the word darkness because of the significance of the word as it is a metaphor for Frankenstein's situation. Darkness is symbolic of Frankenstein's of what he is experiencing as he cannot see what the outcome of creating the monster, just as one cannot see in the dark. Suspense is created in the chapter, this is also foreshadowing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Frankenstein loses everything in trying to achieve his scientific goals , Shelley warns that this will happen to others who become as obsessed with their work as Frankenstein was. In the 21st century there have been a number of scientific advancements such as the development of stem cell technology. This is particularly relevant as stem cell technology is about creating or extending life, under pretences deemed immoral by some. An embryo is created, parts are then extracted from the created embryo for medical use - helping people. Shelley did not agree with science intervening heavily with nature. However, scientists have good intentions working with stem cell technology as this could mean the ability to cure currently incurable diseases, surely this is a positive thing? Conversely, Frankenstein also had good intentions in creating the monster because he wanted to be able to bring dead people back to life so people would not have to experience the death of a loved one as he had experienced, nevertheless, this still lead to his destruction. Perhaps it is unlikely that Shelley would discourage the advancements of science if she saw the positive effects they had on today's society and the positive implications they have for the society of tomorrow. Shelley effectively creates gothic horror and suspense through the use of literary and linguistic techniques. In Chapters four and five horror and suspense are more strongly created than other parts of the novel, as these are the main parts of the novel being the chapters in which most of the plot advances occur. ...read more.

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