Frankenstein As A Gothic Novel Critical Essays

Frankenstein As A Gothic Novel Critical Essays-80
Victor’s emotions at this point are summarised in the following extracts; ‘I beheld the accomplishment of my toils with an anxiety that almost amounted to agony’.Shelley clearly wants the reader to acknowledge Victor’s ‘anxiety’ as she uses language that, at the time of print, would have been understood as more powerful then it would be in a modern society.

Victor’s emotions at this point are summarised in the following extracts; ‘I beheld the accomplishment of my toils with an anxiety that almost amounted to agony’.Shelley clearly wants the reader to acknowledge Victor’s ‘anxiety’ as she uses language that, at the time of print, would have been understood as more powerful then it would be in a modern society.

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Generically, Frankenstein can be considered gothic in numerous ways, to understand and interpret theses effectively and in depth we must first outline the usual features and aspects of the gothic genre.

The gothic genre is somewhat expected to contain vivid features of life and death, religion; or the lack/ defiance of it and the struggle of good versus evil.

’ That extract shows Victor’s madness and desperation have mounted to give an overwhelming aura of confusion, Victor has finally achieved the ‘accomplishment of his toils’, he has been far overworking for over 2 years, and at the sight of his completed ‘experiment’ he instantly regrets everything and immediately knows he has sinned.

The main subject of the novel, the creature can definitely be seen as gothic.

Victor’s personality is expressed as gothic many times throughout the novel; he is violent, extremely determined and even insane; in his determination to ‘give life to the pile of limbs’ that lay at his feet’.

The chapter in which Victor expresses the most anguish is chapter 5.Many authors and literary authorities consider the gothic genre to be a genre that simply exposes ‘gloom and terror’ or perhaps an older version of the recently developed ‘science fiction genre’; created as a result of the technology boom giving rise to a lifestyle of infinite development, leading to doubts and suspicions of what might be possible and what evils they may contain, this is a key aspect of the science fiction genre and ultimately the gothic genre. If applied to this definition of gothic, Frankenstein is clearly a gothic novel, most characters in the book close to Victor, (the character who we are following) are killed, by his creation- the creature, in a miserable path of terror and destruction, involving Victor chasing the creature as it discovers more about its creator whilst killing all people relevant to its conception in its path.The topic of isolation, separation from society and normality, segregation and deprivation are main features of both the gothic genre and of Frankenstein, in my opinion Shelley describes Victor as being alone for so long as she wants to give the reader an insight into the sheer insanity and abnormality that Victor is expressing during the period he spends working on the creature.The very creation of the creature can be seen as evil or gothic In numerous ways: it was formed from dead criminal’s body parts that Victor stole, Its creation was illegal, forbidden and unholy and yet created in an abandoned church (sacred place) and It was created out of insanity and immoral desperation.Also, at the instant of creating the creature Victor regrets every moment he spent working on it; he is clearly a confused and perhaps evil man.Pathetic fallacy is often a feature of the gothic genre. When something is wrong or there is evil nearby the weather is usually dark, stormy or agitated.Pathetic fallacy adds a great deal of tension to any novel as it brings more tension and further hints to the reader as to the events to follow.Shelley continues to amount the emotions; ‘I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation’.‘I threw myself on the bed in my clothes, endeavouring to seek a few moments of forgetfulness’.Even through these short extracts Shelley gives a clear insight into Victor’s desperation and anguish, these extreme emotions, especially when being applied to such an immoral act, are clearly intended to be interpreted as disturbing and ultimately gothic.Still Shelley continues to amount emotions by giving Victor an outburst of strong powerful language, that again would have been interpreted as more powerful and ‘ruder’ then it would nowadays, as a result of the widespread use of words previously considered as rude, perverse and unacceptable; ‘CURSED, CURSED CREATOR! Why, in that instant did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed?

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