Essay about Mary Shelley and Flannery O’Connor: Gothic Isolationists

Essay about Mary Shelley and Flannery O’Connor: Gothic Isolationists

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Gothic fiction is a genre of literature that combines fiction, horror and Romanticism with a particular focus on the mysterious and supernatural aspects. Gothic fiction originated in England during the latter half of the 18th century. This distinctive genre of literature soon developed into a 19th century phenomenon. The success of this dominant genre in England is frequently attributed to Mary Shelley. Despite its recent success, gothic fiction ceased to be a dominant genre by the Victorian Era. However in many ways, it had now begun to enter into its most ingenious phase. This paper will analyze the influence of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein on Flannery O’Connor’s work, specifically her novel Wise Blood.
Flannery O’Connor emerged as a crucial and contemporary innovator of southern gothic literature. Southern gothic literature is defined as a subgenre of gothic fiction, which originated in the United States during the 20th century. The southern gothic genre employs similar literary elements, which its “parent” genre had established. These elements include the employment of macabre, psychological and isolationist dimensions; expect now in southern gothic, these elements were used to examine the values of the American South. Mary Shelley and Flannery O’Connor both emerged as two prestigious figures of Gothicism through their combination of psychological and isolationist aspects, in order to create memorable works in the Gothic tradition. The influence of Shelley on O’Connor’s work is clearly evident when examining the reoccurring gothic theme of isolationism, found in both Frankenstein and Wise Blood.
Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in Somers Town, London, on August 30, 1797. Shelley was an English author and ...


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...ation of Romanticism,
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Power, Julia. Shelley in America in the Twentieth Century. New York: Haskell House, 1964.
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Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and J. Paul Hunter. Frankenstein. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012
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Willette, Janet. "What Effect Does Isolation Have on Victor and the Creature in "Frankenstein?"
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