Often times an author’s background shapes their writing thus instilling a sense of curiosity in the audience. In her work, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley exposes the grotesque aspects of life as it resonates with her past. Considered a Gothic novel, and one of the first Science Fictions, Frankenstein also contains several components of the Romantic Movement. The Romantic Movement was a period in British history when people felt a deep connection to nature, science, and their emotions. Shelley uses the foundation of a Romantic novel to construct a work unlike any other of its time period. Several factors including tone, setting, and mood validate Frankenstein as a Gothic horror novel. Even though Frankenstein is frequently considered a Science Fiction novel, research paints it as a Gothic Horror because it retains an aura of darkness and imparts fear through the mysterious, the supernatural, and the monstrous.
Mary Shelley was born on August 30, 1797 in the Polygon, Somers town, London to William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft (Proquest; Galens, “A Study Guide” 181). Both of her parents were influential British writers (Proquest). Due to complications while giving birth to Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft died ten days after her daughter’s birth (Galens, “A Study Guide” 181). Her father, William remarried. Mary and her stepmother were never on good terms, and her “upbringing [even] mirrored certain elements of the childhood story, Cinderella [...] (Galens, “A Study Guide” 181). In 1807, Godwin opened a publishing company and this is where Mary first met the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Proquest). Although married to another woman, Percy was madly in love with Mary and planned on marrying her. Mary’s father did not ...
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...darkness through the mysterious, the supernatural, and the monstrous. The lurid tone of the novel is maintained through the core elements of the Gothic horror genre. Often, a Gothic novel slyly portrays the authors “repressed anxieties” (Galens, “A Study Guide” 191). Research shows that Frankenstein “reflected [Shelley’s] deepest psychological fears and insecurities, such as her inability to prevent her children’s deaths, her distressed marriage to a man who showed no remorse for his daughters’ deaths, and her feelings of inadequacy as a writer” (Galens, “A Study Guide” 191). Different aspects of Shelley’s tragic life immensely influence numerous features of the plot of her most famous work, Frankenstein. The death surrounding Shelley pulls her into a deep depression where she envisions a life with resurrection (Galens, “A study Guide” 181; Schoene-Harwood 143).
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