Compare and contrast the ways in which Frankenstein and one other Gothic novel explore the meaning of the 'monstrous'.

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Compare and contrast the ways in which Frankenstein and one other Gothic novel explore the meaning of the ‘monstrous’.

Frankenstein and the other novel I have chosen to analyse, Dracula, both contain creatures that can be seen as being monsters. However, both these novels describe and depict the characteristic of being monstrous, although the actual definition of the monstrous varies widely between the various extracts that can be taken, and between the two novels themselves. The monstrous can be perceived to mean a number of things, from simply the supernatural, the intelligence of the characters in question, to the physical appearance of something which is not what is usually expected, and can even be the moral issues that a character experiences.

Both Frankenstein and Dracula are creatures which are ‘abnormal’, unnatural, even supernatural because indeed they do exist, but they technically should not because whereas Frankenstein is made from reanimated flesh, Dracula can take the life-force of another and use it to prolong the life of another which can be considered monstrous since it goes against the natural order of things. This why Jonathan wishes to send Dracula’s soul ‘for ever and ever into burning hell’; only then will the retribution against Dracula for all the cruelty be achieved. Frankenstein’s creature on the other hand does not wish to harm others originally, but even before Victor could have a chance to witness the creature’s true personality for himself, he condemned the creature as a ‘wretch’ and immediately ‘breathless horror and disgust filled [his] heart’. This is not completely understandable, and makes the reader wonder whether if a living creature is monstrous on the outside, then wonder if the inner self, the personality of the creature will reflect its outer appearance.

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Conversely, when the creature speaks in Frankenstein, it does not appear to be so monstrous, but rather to be highly educated, intelligent and aware of the world around it and its actions upon it. He even seems to recognise the meaning of knowledge, by describing it as something which ‘clings to the mind, when it has once seized on it, like a lichen on the rock’. This comment can in a way be seen to describe the creature itself, because no matter how much his having knowledge has harmed him (because if he simply existed, unknowing of life, devoid ...

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