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Frankenstein: Both A Gothic And Romantic Novel

805 words - 3 pages

Mary Shelley began writing “Frankenstien” with the intent of writing a story that frightens its readers. “Frankenstein” is a distinctive novel because it incorporates both Romantic and Gothic elements. In a deeper look at the characters, the role of scientific experimentation, and the settings of nature found in the book, you will appreciate how “Frankenstein” is a great model of both Romantic and Gothic exemplification.
Gothic novels often include highly emotional characters, tragic females and tyrannical males. Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s lifelong friend, is in distress; she is lonely and misses Victor. Elizabeth is the damsel in the story. She needs to be rescued from this unknown threat coming from monster. Victor is a cruel character who brings this creature to life only to turn away from him in disgust. Victor is unable to save Elizabeth, from his creation. He seeks revenge, and wants to destroy the monster. Victor is ultimately overcome with grief, as he blames himself for the death of his loved ones. Frankenstein’s monster has an intense passion of anger and anguish. He acts on impulse, and doesn’t think of the consequences of his actions. These characters are perfect models of characters illustrated in gothic novels.
However Shelley goes a step further by involving Romantic elements in her characters. The main character Victor Frankenstein is a classic romantic character. In the book Victor is on a romantic quest to form “the perfect human.” When making the creature he thought to himself that “life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through” (pg. 40). Victor moves against limitations by playing a God-like role in constructing the being. He is overstepping human boundaries. Victor reflects the romantic belief that it was the individual’s imagination that would create a new understanding of the world and lead to a more perfect human being and society. He wished to “pour a torrent of light into our dark world” (pg. 40).
Shelley has crafted Victor Frankenstein into a genuinely fascinating character. Victor’s toils are thought-provoking. The unexplainable event of Frankenstein’s creation is the basis of Shelley’s novel. Shelley produces a threatening feeling throughout the novel, a fear only enhanced by the unknown. The unexplored field of science, bringing the dead back to life, is unknown to readers. This literary device causes readers to wince in disbelief and terror. Readers become revolted when imagining Victor in search for...

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