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The Gothic Setting Of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

650 words - 3 pages

Frankenstein: What makes it a Gothic Novel?One of the most important aspects of any gothic novel is setting.Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is an innovative and disturbing work thatweaves a tale of passion, misery, dread, and remorse. Shelly reveals thestory of a man's thirst for knowledge which leads to a monstrous creationthat goes against the laws of nature and natural order. The man, VictorFrankenstein, in utter disgust, abandons his creation who is shunned byall of mankind yet still feels and yearns for love. The monster then seeksrevenge for his life of loneliness and misery. The setting can bring aboutthese feelings of short-lived happiness, loneliness, isolation, and despair.Shelly's writing shows how the varied and dramatic settings ofFrankenstein can create the atmosphere of the novel and can also causeor hinder the actions of Frankenstein and his monster as they go on theirseemingly endless chase where the pursuer becomes the pursued.Darkly dramatic moments and the ever-so-small flashes ofhappiness stand out. The setting sets the atmosphere and creates themood. The "dreary night of November" (Shelly 42) where the monster isgiven life, remains in the memory. And that is what is felt throughoutthe novel-the dreariness of it all along with the desolate isolation. Yetthere were still glimpses of happiness in Shelly's "vivid pictures of thegrand scenes among Frankenstein- the thunderstorm of the Alps, thevalleys of Servox and Chamounix, the glacier and the precipitous sides ofMontanvert, and the smoke of rushing avalanches, the tremendous domeof Mont Blanc" (Goldberg 277) and on that last journey with Elizabethwhich were his last moments of happiness. The rest goes along with themelodrama of the story. Shelly can sustain the mood and create adistinct picture and it is admirable the way she begins to foreshadowcoming danger. Shelly does this by starting a terrible storm, addingdreary thunder and lightning and by enhancing the gloom and dread ofher gothic scenes. Shelly writes so that the reader sees and feels thesescenes taking permanent hold on the...

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