Frankenstein: the Traditional Gothic

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Frankenstein: The Traditional Gothic Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is, without a doubt, an iconic piece of Gothic literature. The Gothic genre evokes dread and horror within its readers and explores the extremes of human emotion, the unknown and supernatural, destiny, and impending doom. The story of Victor Frankenstein’s quest for knowledge and the tragedy which befell him when he tried to equal God and nature has filled the hearts and minds of readers with sadness, terror, and intrigue. The creature which he breathed life into has become a symbol of the dangers of science and how an innocent soul can be driven to barbarism. Overtime, the novel has become synonymous with gothic literature. “Frankenstein revolutionized the genres of gothic literature … and horror stories” (Mazzeno). Frankenstein exemplifies powerful Gothic elements such as: environment and weather reflecting emotions, a sense of mystery and suspense, supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events, and an unreliable narrator. One of the most iconic and crucial elements of gothic writing in Frankenstein is the way in which Victor’s environment reflects the dark and lonely emotions he experiences throughout his tragic journey. The use of this literary technique first shows when Victor becomes enthralled in his attempt to create a living being. The “unhallowed damps of the grave … the dissecting rooms and the slaughter-house” which he uses as means to acquire materials for his creation express the depravity and frenzy in which Victor works (Shelley) He only sees these hideous places as aid in his work, blinded to what he is creating, revealing the “regressive decent into phantasmagoria that constitutes [his] reanimation process” (Sherwin 885). In a similar way which Victor sees his monster as beauty and perfection until it first opens its eyes. Further on in the novel, as Victor laments the death of
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