Wednesday, September 4, 2019
To what extent is Frankenstein typical of gothic literature? Essay
To what extent is Frankenstein typical of gothic literature? In you answer make close references to its context and Mary Shelly's use of language. This essay will assess how typical of the gothic genre writings is Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein". The novel was written at a time when electricity was first discovered and Galvanism was being explored, mainly for medical reasons. People at this time were ignorant and sceptical of medicine and so most people would have been disgusted by these studies. At this time the Romantic period was well under way, this movement (which Mary shelly and her husband Percy Shelly who was a poet belonged to) was about freedom of thought, the beauty of nature and the imagination. It was also a time of social change, with the French revolution just over the waters; this could be why the novel is mainly set in central Europe. The structure of Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein" is in many ways typical of the gothic genre. Within the novel there are many letters written to family members explaining what's going on at that point, this builds up suspense, which is a technique many authors who wrote in that era used. The novel also has an a cyclical structure, which means it starts and finishes in the same place, this gives the book a sense of mystery, another characteristic of the gothic genres writings. The structural ending at the end of the novel has no closure, the monster clam's he is about to commit suicide, however we don't have any substantial proof of this fact, this is yet another trait of gothic literature, the ending leaves you wondering "He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance". The ending kind of mirrors what is happening during the rest of the ... ...d" This leaves the reader feeling that you want to know what is the much more that he talks about. I think Mary Shelly's novel of "Frankenstein" is to a great extent typical of the gothic genre, it has a lot of the techniques used by gothic writers and uses a lot of the affects. However the novel is not totally typical of the gothic era because there is no proper good verses evil, the monster is meant to be evil but we as the reader feel far more sympathy for the monster and less to Frankenstein. Frankenstein is the protagonist and main character so we are typically meant sympathise with him, but the novel looses the gothic edge when we start hearing things from the monsters view and so start to feel sorry for him, and roles switch like they did when the monster and Frankenstein met the reader does not really know who to sympathise with towards the end.