Essay on Mary Shelley 's Use Of Romanticism

Essay on Mary Shelley 's Use Of Romanticism

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Devian Poteet

2 December, 2014

British Literature

Frankenstein: Mary Shelley 's Use of Romanticism
Throughout Mary Shelley 's novel "Frankenstein," first published in 1818, an educated reader can see the great influence that the literary movement of romanticism had on her writing in this particular novel. It can be said that Mary Shelley was heavily inspired by romantic writers, such as Percy Shelley and Lord Byron (Duncan). Shelley also incorporated some Gothic styled themes into her novel, which seemed to first contradict what would have been considered as romanticism. Many gothic writers incorporated themes of horror and supernatural, while the romantic writers focused on nature and what is natural. That being said, an argument can be made that Shelley did not limit herself to merely including romanticism. On the other hand, the entire text consists of examples of nature and romanticism that can be pulled an examined up close. By combining elements of gothic writing and romanticism, Shelley may have even added an entirely new detail to the movement or even changed the representation of the romantics. Furthermore, Mary Shelley successfully weaved romantic elements throughout her novel in more ways than one.
Romanticism is "an 18th century movement, which emphasized nature, imagination, emotion, and the individual." In the late 1800 's and early 1900 's, the literary period that followed romanticism, realism, incorporated more scientific ideas and had a literal take on nature (Literary...). In contrast, romantic writing was used to express a new connection one might have with his/her imagination (Literary...). Many romantic and gothic writers wanted to capture and express a "sublime" moment in a man 's life (Fite). The idea ...

... middle of paper ... The man dies and the monster lives; the possibilities of what this might mean are many. Shelley incorporated themes and qualities that one might find in most romantic writing, but she uses them in such a way that it challenges the original use of them. By combining themes and ideas used in romantic writing with elements that are highly daring and gothic, she creates endless new opportunities for both the genres.

Works Cited
Duncan, Greg. "Frankenstein: The Historical Context." Frankenstein Commentary. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.
Fite, David. "Harold Bloom: The Rhetoric of Romantic Vision." Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1985.
"Literary Periods, Movements, and History." Literature Periods & Movements. Literary History. Jalic Inc., 2014. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
Shelley, Mary. "Frankenstein." 1816. London: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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