• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore how Mary Shelley develops the gothic genre in chapter 4 and 5 of Frankenstein.

Extracts from this document...


English Coursework - Frankenstein Prose Study Explore how Mary Shelley develops the gothic genre in chapter 4 and 5 of Frankenstein. Up until 1800, literature in general consisted of a spontaneous expression of idyllic images of love - ultimately categorised as "The Romantic Movement." From this sprouted Romanticism's antithesis - literary Gothicism. When it was first introduced in the late 18th century, Gothic literature featured accounts of terrifying experiences set in graveyards or ancient castles, and descriptive motifs such as flickering lamps and ghostly figures. These have now become images of stereotypical horror. As it developed, Gothic literature came to designate everything to do with the macabre, mysterious and supernatural in literature more generally. Now one of the most recognisable forms of literature, Gothicism gained its popularity due to the stark contrast from anything that preceded it, and the surrounding controversy that shocked and intrigued its audiences. New scientific discovery swept across 18th century civilization, and the need for knowledge had overcome society. ...read more.


Chapters 4 and 5 are particularly strong in these subjects. The first of these two chapters sees Frankenstein becoming more involved in studies at the university, with the aid of Waldman, his newly discovered friend. Without one visit to his family in two years, his experiments at the university take possession of his life, so much so that he begins to venture further into new, and more controversial fields of study. This chapter exemplifies Gothicism's strong themes of death and decay, as Frankenstein's surroundings change from a loving home to a charnel house, and he is no longer deterred by darkness or superstition. His excitement at the thought of bringing a lifeless corpse into the world greatly disturbs the reader, preparing him for the climax that follows. Frankenstein's realization that his actions were deeply immoral is shown in chapter 5. However, it is too late to change his ways, leaving Frankenstein to lament that the charm of a cherished dream vanished as he beheld the "horrid" sight of the creature. ...read more.


While Shelley assigns the desolate weather to Frankenstein's own despondent sense of mind, (which is described using words like "anxiety" and "agony",) she uses light to symbolise the morsel of hope also recurrent throughout the pain-stricken story, for example, "...by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light...." The inclusion of such light-related phrases is used in situations where Doctor Frankenstein has regained his hope after a loss. In this case, Frankenstein's monster begins to move after he had given up all hope of the success of his project. The theme of Gothicism is further intensified in paragraph 2.A stark contrast between beauty and ugliness is emphasized, with the description of the monsters features: "his hair was a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of pearly whiteness" clashing with uncompromising imagery of its form: "His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath". Perhaps in reality the creature was beautiful, but Frankenstein looked upon his decision to create it as unpalatable? As the chapter progresses, another poignant topic is introduced - that of aberrant ungodliness. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Mary Shelley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Mary Shelley essays

  1. It is necessary only to substitute kisses for intercourse and semen for blood to ...

    because it increases her sexuality and craving. The vampire hunters witness Mina drinking blood from Dracula's chest, "Her white nightdress (smeared with) blood, and a thin stream trickled down the man's bare breast".22. Symbolically, as Mina's white gown has become stained so her purity has also become tarnished.

  2. Frankenstein: A Romantic Novel?

    Shelley left her loving father in 1814 and fled to France with her future husband Percy Shelley. Already currently married, he lived with Mary for years. During this time, Mary's father rejected her and was very bitter with her for what she did.

  1. "Gothic...reflects humanity's quest to aspire to great things, but also to hide in shadowy ...

    In a strange way he even found a companion by personifying the glowing orb: "Soon a gentle light stole over the heavens and gave me a sensation of pleasure" (Frankenstein 99). While wandering aimlessly the creature comes across a village, out of curiosity he attempts to explore.

  2. Of the vampire tales to date, Bram Stoker's Dracula has unquestionably become the most ...

    in Dracula.10 In Stoker's text Dracula -- and Dracula's sense of sexuality -- actually dominates very few of the scenes, whereas the s******y-charged female vampires -- those at Castle Dracula, Lucy, and Mina -- receive most of Stoker's attention. For his first "experiment" in Dracula, Stoker presents the problem of

  1. A commentary on a passage from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein.

    Also, while it is implied that the original monster, was involved in "murder and wretchedness", it took no delight in it nor did it for its own sake. As well, to get his point across, Frankenstein again uses hyperbole in order to create an impression of his fear and uncertainty

  2. "With reference to at least two novels published after 1870, examine ways in which ...

    The purpose of the act itself was not to outlaw homosexuality per se: This amendment was added mere hours before the bill was passed and was never debated in the House of Commons. It was rushed through late at night, by which time most MPs had retired.

  1. In order to perform a textual analysis of chapter 5 "Incident of the Letter" ...

    Guest, however, is quizzed in the lawyer's domain of Utterson's House. The language used becomes formal and of legal jargon as the chapter sees words such as client, trial, detection, dictated, advice, decision, document, police, judge and murder. He struggles with the Jekyll/Hyde relationship and letter for as Jekyll's

  2. Although the women's characters in Frankenstein are more underlying they are vital to the ...

    The letters also provide an early contrast between Walton and Victor and their attitudes. As Walton speaks of his "...conviction that a man could boast little happiness, who did not enjoy this blessing." and Victor replies "...I once had a friend, the most noble of human creatures...But I - I have lost everything,...".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work