Gothic Elements in Frankenstein

2021-05-12 14:33:58
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I. Thesis statement The usage of gothic elements in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly helps to create mysterious atmosphere of Victorian England.


II. Gothic Novel has its roots back to 18th century and refers to Medieval times.

Gothic novel as a genre and its elements. Gothic novel usually depicts old places, ruined and partly ruined castles and abandoned houses. The main elements of Gothic novel are night journeys and evil characters. Setting plays extremely important role in Gothic novels as it creates the atmosphere of horror, essential for this genre.

Gothic novel in the period of Romanticism.

Romantic period in English literature brought the genre of Gothic novel some new elements such as strange visions and ghosts. Among the most famous representatives of ghost story as a sub-genre of Gothic novel are Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelly and his wife Mary Shelly. Being good friends, Byron and the Shelly family organized a competition on the best ghost story, which resulted in the appearance of the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.

III. Frankenstein by Mary Shelly is considered the first science fiction novel ever as well as one of the best horror stories.

Science fiction is the genre, which deals with futuristic issues and technological inventions. What makes Frankenstein scientific is doubtless the invention of Doctor Frankenstein, though there are no scientific explanations of this phenomena. The genre of horror story is very close to the notion of Gothic novel, as it contains many similar elements. Use of nature and foreshadowing are the main elements of horror story present in Frankenstein.

IV. Not being purely Gothic novel, Frankenstein contains many elements of this genre.

One of the main characteristics of Gothic novel is the setting, which is dark and gloomy in Frankenstein. The laboratory of Doctor Frankenstein serves a perfect example of the gloomy place, where strange things are happening.

Natural exterior of the novel is also rather typical for Gothic novel the desert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge. I have wandered here many days; the caves of ice which I only do not fear, are a dwelling to me, and the only one which man does not grudge (Shelly 84). Many of the scenes and description from the novel create the impression of horror and fear.

The scenes when Victor Frankenstein is picking the bones or is looking at his creation are terrifying and create the atmosphere of gloom. The reader may find the idea of a person rising from the dead scaring as well, which is typical for Gothic novel. The way the novel is told makes the reader feel the fear, which Victor feels to the monster.

V. Conclusion

Works Cited

Clery, E. J. Women's Gothic: From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley. Tavistock: Northcote House in Association with the British Council, 2000. Print.

Heller, Lee E. "Free Essays Must Be Free!TM." Frankenstein: A Cultural Perspective Essay. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

Hume, Robert D. "Gothic versus Romantic: A Revaluation of the Gothic Novel." Pmla 84.2 (1969): 282. Web.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus. London: Penguin, 2003. Print.


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