Frankenstein: ‘Mine has been a tale of horrors’ claims Victor towards the end of the novel. How far do you agree that the novel is a purely Gothic tale?

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  • Created by: Alessia
  • Created on: 16-04-13 22:22
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  • ‘Mine has a tale of horrors’ claims Victor towards the end of the novel. How far do you agree that the novel is a purely gothic tale?
    • The novel also refers to famous gothic novels such a Paradise Lost, however, although gothic this novel is typically romantic also the contemporary romantic poet Anna Laetitia Barbauld is refered to in chapters 2 and 9. (background information interlinking with the novel)
    • Shelley oversteps the usual boundaries which is a typical gothic element. On the other hand some may say it is not only gothic a sense of love and longing is explored in this novel
    • What is the Gothic?
      • Contrast between the gothic and romantic is explored in chapter 18 Written in the Romantic era yet a lot of Shelley’s writing was dark compared to the typical style…’I kept my workshop of filthy creation … The dissecting room and the slaughterhouse.” 
    • First examples of Walton on the boat who longs for a companion to accompany him, also the bond between him and his sister as he writes to her yet they do not seem extremely close yet the only person who seems to worry about him ‘you will be rejoiced to hear that no disaster…’ 
    • Gothic Elements within the novel
      • Victor produced monsters to fill readers with horror and awe 
      • Creation of the monster; the development of science and Victor playing God – creates his own fate 
      • Reading of the monsters terror the way Shelley uses superhuman settings to stage unnatural events.
    • Nature and Landscape outside of civilisation yet the scary realism of the plot being located in real life places. Which all have their own histories and connotations
      • the audience in which the novel was aimed at would have understood the relevance of political implications, we can understand social and political significance. 
    • The monsters longing for a companion and also the love he shows for the family after realising they are poor and the older man is blind. 
    • Not only the the novel gothic but it also highlights the romantic period in which Shelley wrote in. There are many examples of this throughout the text, when talking of death and in Walton's letters
    • This statement is a very bold one looked at both sides of the argument I agree with the statement yet believe that because of the love which is shown and longed for makes the terror stronger.


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