Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Gothic elements of Frankenstein

One of the key elements of Frankenstein is it’s dated feeling characteristic of the gothic genre. Despite that this was written in the 19th century the setting, characters, and topics are all antiquated. Frankenstein’s use of old alchemist texts, the age of the mountains, even the frame narrative has a dated feeling of voyaging out across the sea. High society was enjoying the beginnings of chic, cosmopolitan, urban life when the novel was written, but the text is mired in antiquity.
Gothic works also portray decay. In Southern Gothic work it highlights the decay and breakdown of society in the American South. Much the same way, Frankenstein shows Frankenstein’s decay as a man. Frankenstein is destroyed by his passions and loses everything he holds dear because of his work.
Frankenstein loses friends and loved ones to his monster, but the slow pace at which the monster strips away everything shows the process of his decay. The process is also denigrating to Frankenstein because he becomes convinced that he is at fault for the deaths, and the novel seems to agree with that. He is painted as a man who has done all this to himself.
The repulsive subject matter is also very gothic. Gothic work often deals with the grotesque and the disturbing image of a man-made man is a clear example of this. The murders and other violence is also grotesque.

The novel is a perfect example of gothic literature, utilizing the elements of style that make this kind of work unique.

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