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To What Extent Is Frankenstein Typical Of Gothic Literature?

1150 words - 5 pages

To what extent is Frankenstein typical of gothic literature? In you
answer make close references to its context and Mary Shelly's use of
language.

This essay will assess how typical of the gothic genre writings is
Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein". The novel was written at a time when
electricity was first discovered and Galvanism was being explored,
mainly for medical reasons. People at this time were ignorant and
sceptical of medicine and so most people would have been disgusted by
these studies. At this time the Romantic period was well under way,
this movement (which Mary shelly and her husband Percy Shelly who was
a poet belonged to) was about freedom of thought, the beauty of nature
and the imagination. It was also a time of social change, with the
French revolution just over the waters; this could be why the novel is
mainly set in central Europe.

The structure of Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein" is in many ways typical
of the gothic genre. Within the novel there are many letters written
to family members explaining what's going on at that point, this
builds up suspense, which is a technique many authors who wrote in
that era used. The novel also has an a cyclical structure, which means
it starts and finishes in the same place, this gives the book a sense
of mystery, another characteristic of the gothic genres writings. The
structural ending at the end of the novel has no closure, the monster
clam's he is about to commit suicide, however we don't have any
substantial proof of this fact, this is yet another trait of gothic
literature, the ending leaves you wondering "He was soon borne away by
the waves and lost in darkness and distance". The ending kind of
mirrors what is happening during the rest of the book because at the
end of most of the chapters you are left wondering as most are left at
cliffhangers and you wanting more.

In the gothic genre most of the characters ate isolated and lonely,
and in the novel of "Frankenstein" the main characters are all both
solitary and isolated protagonists. Frankenstein had all of his
greatest loves and people who he cares about are murdered by his
creation, which in its self is ironic. Even before his friends and
family are taken away from him, he is lonesome because in guarding his
secret he is pushing others away from him for fear that they would be
discussed with him, due to the advancements in medicine at the time,
people were sceptical of chances. We can see this in the novel with
Frankenstein's professor, he died because ordinary people had very
little knowledge of medical that could be provided and what good it
would do them, and when trying to give someone a injection to benefit
there health, he unfortunately didn't see it like that and stabbed the
professor, who died as direct result. The monster we can see is remote
and friendless because he is so detestable, ugly and abhorrent, people
attack him when they see him, and his only friends didn't know...

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