The very first characteristic of a Gothic novel is its sinister setting. The opening sentence in Frankenstein sets the mood for the rest of the book. Shelley begins her novel with, "You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings" (p. 13). At this point in the novel, Walton is on a ship in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, on his way to the North Pole. He is being blocked from all sides by ice, and can see nothing but ice for miles. The landscape is barren, and all of his crew is in fear of running out of food and fresh water. This setting is very sinister in lieu of the imminent death that is facing the crew members.
When the scene switches to the life of Victor Frankenstein, the reader finds out that everything is wonderful throughout his childhood. Later, when he goes away to college in pursuit of knowledge about alchemy and other sciences, everything gets darker and darker. When construction of the creature begins, Victor describes his workshop as "a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase. This is where [he] kept [his] workshop of filthy creation" (p. 53). He goes on to describe the "dissecting room" and "slaughter-house" that provided his material (p.53). This, too, adds to the sinister setting and evil undertones of the novel.
The setting also serves the purpose of reflecting the feelings of the characters in the novel. Whenever Frankenstein is upset or someone is going to jail, it is raining. A Gothic novel would not be complete without a lot of rain. ...
... middle of paper ...
...to Frankenstein ends up dying and even Walton is in danger of being killed if he stays out to sea too long.
Death, darkness, rain, and horror are all needed to make a good Gothic novel. Not only did Mary Shelly include all these things, she added a few to make the story even more interesting. Her novel meets all the characteristics for a work of Gothic fiction. As Malamund mentions, "Shelley's monster [is] at home amid the Gothic, and [is] able to march forward--undaunted by the landscape of terror" (p.45).
Crowell, Thomas Y., et al. The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Boston: Desmond Publishing Co., 1902.
Shelly, Mary. Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. 1818. England: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1992.
Malamud, A. "Frankenstein's Monster: The Gothic Voice in the Waste Land." English Language Notes 46 (1988): 41-45.
Parkin-Gounelas, Ruth. "Learning What We Have Forgotten." English Language Notes 39 (1987): 215-219.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Gothic Horror has been described as “delightful horror”. Focusing on Chapter 5 of Frankenstein, how has Shelley used the Gothic Genre to explore deeper issues. The term ‘Gothic’ conjures a range of possible meanings, definitions and associations. It explicitly denotes certain historical and cultural phenomena. Gothicism was part of the Romantic Movement that started in the eighteenth century and lasted about three decades into the nineteenth century. For this essay, the definition of Gothic that is applicable is: An 18th century literary style characterized by gloom and the supernatural.... [tags: Mary Shelley]
1554 words (4.4 pages)
- Frankenstein is a well know gothic story that is still popular today and will be for decades to come. “Mary Shelly’s 1818 novel Frankenstein has inspired an almost uncountable number of film adaptations, many of which have in turn spawned their own sequels, series, spin-offs, mega-franchises, and finally par- odies” (Miller). If you have not heard of Frankenstein you need to read or watch the movie. The man made monster that is lonely in a world that thinks he’s weird and evil. He gets created in an old haunted house looking castle with a crazy scientist while it’s lighting and storming outside.... [tags: gothic story, Mary Shelly, monster]
1368 words (3.9 pages)
- Exploring Deep Issues Through the Gothic Genre in Mary Shelley's Chapter 5 of Frankenstein Introduction: Mary Shelly inquires into many issues using the Gothic genre. Shelly explores the theme of religion according to the society that she had lived in. Shelly also explores loneliness through Victor Frankenstein and the creation of Victor, the monster. Mary explores the taboo issues of Victorian society through her novel and looks deeply into the idea of 'playing God' using Victor; she investigates through her novel human anatomy and science which were great discoveries and issues in the Victorian era.... [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley]
1390 words (4 pages)
- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Employs Typical Features of the Gothic Tradition One of the most important aspects of any Gothic novel is setting. Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is an innovative and disturbing work that weaves a tale of passion, misery, dread, and remorse. Some would argue that Frankenstein is a classic Gothic novel. By a classically Gothic novel it is meant that the story employs a traditionally scary theme. This could include such things as dark and dreary castles set in isolated surroundings replete with dungeons.... [tags: Literature Shelly Gothic ]
958 words (2.7 pages)
- In what ways can Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Be considered as a Gothic novel. Can Gothic literature still appeal to us today. Gothic Literature was most popular from about 1764 until 1832, a period of nearly seventy years. At this time there were many successful and famous authors who wrote books which contained a somewhat 'gothic theme'. These include the famous Brontë Sisters with the novels 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Jane Eyre', both of which can be found on many modern bookshelves of today. As well as the famous sisters, well know authors, of the time, also included Ann Radcliffe with her 'Mysteries of Udolpho' and Horace Walpole's 'The Castle of Otranto'.... [tags: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein]
3557 words (10.2 pages)
- How important is the theme of justice in Frankenstein. Refer closely to the creation scene and Justine's trial scene. Justice is defined as justice is the administration of law; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity which can be interpreted as adhering to laws of both a natural and civilised level. In Frankenstein many of the fundamental laws of both humanity and the world we live in are broken. Creation in he Christian faith is a marvel that only one being or person has the right to control.... [tags: Does Justice Exist in Frankenstein?]
939 words (2.7 pages)
- Tragic wanderers, ominous atmosphere, symbolism, and themes: these are elements of a Gothic novel. Though Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, written in the early 19th century, certainly contains many components of a Gothic novel, can it be correctly grouped under that genre. A definition of a Gothic novel; according to Tracy, is a description of a fallen world. We experience this fallen world though the aspects of a novel: plot, setting, characterization, and theme (De Vore, Domenic, Kwan and Reidy).... [tags: Classic Literature]
1325 words (3.8 pages)
- Using Gothic Characteristics to Portray the Theme of Knowledge in American Gargoyles, Johnny Mnemonic, Frankenstein, Good Country People, and Cyberpunk Gothic literature has been interpreted, and even criticized by many people as just being scary stories. They feel the author's only purpose for using gloomy settings and grotesque characters is to horrify the reader. This however is rarely true of Gothic literature, instead an author will use these characteristics to portray a deeper purpose rather than to just scare the reader.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
2236 words (6.4 pages)
- Stories of tragedy, terror, and treacherousness have captivated millions for generations. Such tales became broadly beloved during the Gothic era, with the publishing of numerous acclaimed novellas. Amongst the ranks of works such as Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde resides Frankenstein; it tells the tale of a forbidden goal, immoral actions, and downfall on the part of the protagonist Victor Frankenstein. His position in the Satanic hero archetype contributes to the stupendous story. The author of the renowned work, Mary Shelley, included Satanic heroes among numerous other literary devices that fabricate Frankenstein’s exemplarity.... [tags: Frankenstein Essays]
1000 words (2.9 pages)
- Frankenstein as a gothic novel The gothic tradition highlights the grotesque, relies on mysterious and remote settings, and is intended to evoke fear. All of these are evident in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, especially in chapter five. The settings in the novel are striking and distinctively gothic. Appropriately, the creature first breathes on a "dreary night of November," in a remote laboratory at Ingolstadt. The eerie atmosphere is typical of the gothic tradition. Victor, unafraid of the dark, spends his time in "vaults and charnel-houses,” he boldly visits the cemetery at the dead of night.... [tags: English Literature]
898 words (2.6 pages)