Pre 20th Century Prose: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde
Novels were very popular in the Victorian era and maybe more so than today as the themes explored were extremely developed and advanced for the time. Victorian readers have been encouraged to sympathise with certain characters but despite this, they may have found certain aspects of novels shocking.
The first author that I will be discussing is Mary Shelley who was born August 30, 1797. She is best known for writing the novel Frankenstein which she first started when she was just eighteen; the book eventually got published when she was twenty-one. Mary conceived an idea after she fell into a waking dream or nightmare during which she saw ‘the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together’. The other twentieth century novel that I will be comparing is called the strange case of Jekyll and Hyde written in 1896 by Robert Stevenson who was born 13 November 1850. The narrative perspective of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is like Russian nesting dolls as there are many stories within the whole story and this could make reader more interested although slightly confused.
The genre of both Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde is gothic. In Frankenstein the words the raising of ghosts or devils’ may give the impression that the book is of the gothic genre. This is because ghosts and devils (supernatural or horror general) are usually associated with this genre. Jekyll and Hyde features the words ‘that child of hell had nothing human’. These words show that this novel also has the gothic genre by speaking of hell and something being inhuman-which a convention of the gothic genre as it is talking about something to be monstrous which some people may have found quite scary to picture.
Both of the novels (Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde) have a unique form which may effect where the...