Analysis of Frankenstein |
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein |
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 is a description of a fallen world. We experience this fallen world though the aspects of a novel: plot, setting, characterization, and theme. As well, early Gothic novels have characterized themselves through the use of moral commitment and exotic atmosphere in their themes. Stock characters that were typically present in Gothic literature were the social outcast, the misfit, the guilt haunted wanderer, and the solitary eccentric. However, earlier Gothic literature was considered primitive and mechanical – trite and clichéd by our standards.
Frankenstein is a Romantic Horror novel written by Mary Shelley. Originally published in 1818, a revised version was also published in 1831. As a Romantic novel, Frankenstein is very emotional and addresses the connection between man and nature. This nightmarish tale was the result of a friendly challenge between Shelley, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and Claire Clairmont to see who could compose the most horrifying ghost story. Shelley won after conceiving the idea of Frankenstein after experiencing a dream. Soon, Percy Shelley, her lover and future husband, convinced Mary Shelley to lengthen her story into a novel, creating the terrific Frankenstein readers enjoy today.
Primarily set in the 1800’s in the city of Geneva, Frankenstein presents the tale of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, an obsessive, ambitious, and passionate scientist who discovers the secret of creating life. Using this newfound knowledge, Frankenstein collects and reanimates lifeless body parts to create a living creature. Essentially, Frankenstein’s story depicts his struggle against his own...