Depicted throughout the unusual yet emotional novel Frankenstein, there are numerous themes and ideas that Mary Shelley uses in order to enhance her story. The story opens in the preface with the reading of German ghost tales in which Shelley and her literary accomplices were inspired to embark in a writing competition in relation to ghost stories; Shelley was the only to complete and publish her work. In her writing, she was able to create a obscure and mysterious atmosphere. Specific Gothic characteristics seen in Shelley’s novel Frankenstein are the dark and isolated settings with extreme landscapes and gloomy weather, supernatural beings, and irrational thoughts and behaviors.
The daughter of an active feminist, Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley eloped with the famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley at the age of 15, and after was continually and profoundly influenced by his words and writings. Her novel Frankenstein is named among the best written and most meaningful of the gothic works, and is one of the few still popularly read today. A precursor to the Romantic trend in art and intellect, gothic novels rejected of the precepts of order, balance, idealization, and rationality that typified Classicism in general and late 18th-century Neoclassicism in particular. The gothic tradition grew out of disillusionment with the Enlightenment and 18th-century rationalism and physical materialism. Romanticism as a whole emphasized the individual, the irrational, the imaginative, the spontaneous, the emotional, and the transcendental. Shelley herself defines "gothic" as a story "which would speak to the mysterious fears of our Nature, and would awaken thrilling horror--one to make the reader dread to look around, to curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart." By infusing moral and social concerns into the gothic style, Shelley achieves more than a simple horror story, however. The universal societal and psychoanalytical questions raised in Frankenstein secure its place in world literature and promise decades of similarly fashioned gothic writings.
Frankenstein is one of the most popular gothic novels, but it is actually a compilation of Romantic and Gothic elements to form a single masterpiece. One thing about gothic novels is that they tend to focus on the supernatural and contain a mystery. Shelley portrays this through Victor creating the monster, and the ways in which he did it. For example, going to graves and stealing body parts and using the dead for scientific experimentation. During this time these things were unheard of which is why Frankenstein has become such a classic. Another aspect of a gothic novel is the setting. In these works it tends to take place in a gloomy, dark places such as a castle, dungeon or towers. Shelley uses great description to set the atmosphere to
The fact that he is a creation made of dead parts if inarguably horrific. The presence of both romanticism and horror in Shelley’s novel makes the genre of Frankenstein Gothic. Gothic literature is characterized as being mysterious, suspenseful, somber, dark, and melodramatic. All of which are characteristics found in the novel
English literature has evolved greatly in the past few centuries. One of the aspects that has been heavily influenced are gothic novels. There has been many authors that has used elements of the gothic to make gothic novels. In particular, Mary Shelley wrote the gothic novel Frankenstein. While Mary uses many of the elements of the gothic she used the element of the gothic terror well. The Frankenstein gothic novel has the best gothic terror.
Gothic literature are stories that employs dark and melodramatic sceneries; the atmosphere consists of exotism, mystery and dread. The novel “Frankenstein” qualifies as Gothic Literature because it undergoes intense emotions and themes such as madness, suicidal thoughts and depression. Madness is a theme that occurs throughout the story, but one scene that greatly exhibited the theme was when Victor fled from the creature, he created, and was anxious to see the wretch in his home. “Putting my hands before my eyes, for I thought I saw the dreaded spectre glide into the room. I imagined that the monster seized me; I struggled furiously and fell down in a fit” (Shelley, 1818, pg. 46). At that moment Victor couldn’t distinguish fantasy from reality. His fear of his own creation caused him to have nightmares and made him ill.
One of the most famous pieces of Gothic literature is none other than the story of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus authored by Mary Shelley and published in the year 1818 in England. The novel deals with Victor Frankenstein, a Genevan scientist who creates a hideous creatures through an experiment, but soon regrets his actions and suffers consequences from his creature. Categorized also as a Romantic novel and a horror novel, the story deals with emotion and imagination, nature, and the haunted mind and soul. Throughout the first half of the Frankenstein novel, Shelley hints at the dangers of nature of mankind through the aspirations and actions of Victor Frankenstein and through the effects mankind has on Frankenstein's monster.
The term ‘Gothic’ has also been loosely used for those novels which do not have medieval setting, but generate a brooding atmosphere of gloom and terror. Among such novels are included William Godwin’s Caleb Williams, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, and of course Frankenstein. That the story of Frankenstein was designed to evoke terror, as it initially emerged from a ghost story contest in which Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Polidori and Mary herself, had joined, was described by Mary Shelley in the Introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein. In the Introduction Mary declared her desire to “curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart,” and this declaration has been
The classic novel, Frankenstein, renders full use of the gothic elements commonly found in this type of literature. Shelley uses Victor Frankenstein’s laboratory as a dark and mysterious setting in the novel. For example, Victor claims, “It was with these
Mary Shelley was an extremely talented writer who used many different techniques to make Frankenstein so engaging. Her most notable tool was how she managed to entwine stories within each other. Other books may do this once in their story but Mary Shelley repeatedly does it allowing us to see the story in other peoples perspectives.