Analyse Chapter 4 of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Explore the Extent to Which It Fits Into the Genre of the Gothic Novel and Reflects the Fears and Concerns from the Era in Which the Novel Was Written.

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Analyse chapter 4 of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and explore the extent to which it fits into the genre of the gothic novel and reflects the fears and concerns from the era in which the novel was written. Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, contains features of gothic literature throughout the book. However this is most prevalent in chapter 4. From this chapter there are plenty of distinctive features which are conveyed through the creation of the monster and also through the setting. The language techniques that Shelley uses in the novel represent the genre of the gothic and also portray the fears and concerns about the era in which it was written. The aspects that can be taken into consideration when analysing the novel is the influence of Shelley’s personal life on the novel, the attitudes of people and family in the era and the character of Frankenstein. Chapter 4 starts immediately with a main feature of the gothic. Pathetic fallacy is a technique that Shelley uses well throughout this chapter as it creates an atmosphere and the reader can emphasise the setting. ‘It was a dreary night of November.’ Where Shelley describes it as a dreary night the reader gains an understanding of the setting of the scene and it is always in the back of the mind. The description of the weather undermines Frankenstein’s excitement as he is about to create the monster, this is effective as we can already conjugate an understanding of Frankenstein’s attitude towards the monster which becomes more evident further on in the passage. ‘How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch.’ Frankenstein describes his creation as a wretch, this description by Shelley is important as it conveys her own trauma of child birth. The description is very negative and horrific; the horrific nature of the description again highlights the gothic feature. There are many
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