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Is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Typical Of The Horror Genre?

1758 words - 7 pages

Is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein typical of the horror genre?

To answer the question above, I firstly need to be clear about the
term 'genre.' Genre is a particular style in art or literature, some
examples of genres are: romantic, Romance, science-fiction and Gothic.
Each genre has its own personal features, for example the romance
genre deals with love, it normally has exotic settings and it deals
with emotional issues. I am going to try and categorise the book and
then try to decide whether or not it is just a horror story, or if it
is more than that. If it is just a horror story then it will focus on
death, darkness, fear and terror. It will also try to shock the reader
and it will use suspense heavily.

With this in mind, Frankenstein is definitely a horror story, for
example Victor Frankenstein said, on the day when the creature was
born, "a dreary night in November." This shows that the day is dark,
which is typical of a day in a horror story. "Infuse a spark... into
this lifeless thing" this is when he is talking about the creature,
and there is definitely and emphasis on death and darkness. Victor
says he also has "astounding horror" this shows that he is feeling
especially horrified with the monster.

From the beginning of the book, the horror genre is the primary genre
in the novel, even before Victor Frankenstein's story has even begun
there is evidence of horror. Just before he starts to tell his story,
he tells Robert Walton that his story has "unparalleled misfortunes"
and that he has "memories of evil" this is meant to strike fear into
the reader and into Robert Walton, it shows that Victor Frankenstein
is deeply horrified with what has happened to him. There is also evil
in this story and this is meant to create a horrific tension right
from the beginning of the novel. This is designed to shock the reader
and makes them read on to find out, what so horrifying could have
happened to Victor Frankenstein, this is one of the generic features
of the horror genre.

Many times during this novel, the creature is said to be a "dæmon,"
"fiend" or a "vampire", this is very typical of a Gothic novel. This
is because in most Gothic novels there is an emphasis on fear, and a
presence of the supernatural. This also makes the monster sound very
frightening and this adds to the horror atmosphere in the novel. As
Victor Frankenstein keeps referring to him as a "dæmon" he also seems
to be evil, this is very typical of the horror genre, as there is
normally an evil being that tries to destroy the rest of the
characters. As he is always referring to the creature in this way it
creates a lot of tension in the book. As he sounds more terrifying,
you don't know what he is going to do next, and this creates a lot of
tension also.

Another time where there is tension in the novel, is when Victor
Frankenstein first brings the creature to life. After he does this, he
falls asleep and he has a nightmare, in...

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