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To what extent is Frankenstein typical of gothic literature? Essay

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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 ...


... middle of paper ...


...d" This leaves the reader feeling that you want to know what
is the much more that he talks about.

I think Mary Shelly's novel of "Frankenstein" is to a great extent
typical of the gothic genre, it has a lot of the techniques used by
gothic writers and uses a lot of the affects. However the novel is not
totally typical of the gothic era because there is no proper good
verses evil, the monster is meant to be evil but we as the reader feel
far more sympathy for the monster and less to Frankenstein.
Frankenstein is the protagonist and main character so we are typically
meant sympathise with him, but the novel looses the gothic edge when
we start hearing things from the monsters view and so start to feel
sorry for him, and roles switch like they did when the monster and
Frankenstein met the reader does not really know who to sympathise
with towards the end.


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