Essay on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Essay on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein has been deemed a classic gothic novel. Her monster has frightened many generations throughout the ages, and lingers as a warning of science gone too far. But why did her monster survive the ages? I believe that Mary Shelley's monster managed to hold our attention and chill us to the bone, because she weaved a tale that incorporated the genres of gothic, and romantic literature into a narrative of complete terror, and psychological torment that managed to surpass any other gothic literature of her time.

Gothic Literature was a genre of writing created in the 1780's in order to give form to the impulses and fears of all mankind. It relied heavily upon the ideas of good and evil, and every emotion was symbolically externalized, either by nature, physical appearance, or crime, in order to establish a physical structure for the term evil. By the 19th century Romanticism began to appear, and slowly but dramatically changed Gothic literature forever.

Romanticism was a genre created as an upheaval against the political and social restrictions of its time. Because romanticism emphasized emotions, imagination, and the arts, it was seen as the complete opposite of the style of writing at the time, labelled neoclassicism, which depended solely on the ideas of logic, reason, and conformity.

Neoclassicism was a genre of writing based totally on the ideas of rationality, Classic literature, and the ideas of old. Romanticism on the other hand, was based on individual expression, and the nature of mankind. Romanticism emphasized the internal not the external, and focused it`s attention on the spontaneity of the human mind. Flat characters of past writing were now able to take form more so then in th...


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...intertwined throughout the novel because the monster is the double self of Victor. Victor lost control of the monster due to his own fears and inhibitions`, thus destroying anything that was ever innately good in either of them.

Mary Shelly managed to overlap the genres of Gothic and romantic literature throughout her text, creating an elaborate tale of how internalized evil eventually seeps through to the external, and how nothing is as it seems. She was able to confuse the reader as to who the real villain was, whereas the gothic writer of the 1780's would not have been able to do so to such a degree. In my opinion Mary Shelley did an excellent job of incorporating the two styles of writing into an exquisite tale of good versus evil, and it will continue to tantalize the fears of readers to come. After all, science gone too far can be disastrous.

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