In what ways might a knowledge of the social and political context in which Frankenstein was written and first published contribute to an understanding of the novel?
Discuss the ways in which Frankenstein is relevant to the scientific issues that were being debated at the time that it was published.
How does the monster's reading of Plutarch, Milton and Goethe influence his outlook on the world?
The subtitle of Frankenstein is ‘the modern Prometheus'. How is a knowledge of the Prometheus myth relevant to an understanding of the novel?
Satan, Adam and Prometheus: write an essay on how Mary Shelley uses the analogies between these figures and either Frankenstein or the monster.
What part is played by the de Lacey family in the education of the monster and in the novel as a whole?
Write an essay describing the narrative structure of Frankenstein and discussing how it may affect the reader's understanding of the action of the novel.
Discuss the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and Robert Walton. In what ways are they like and unlike one another?
How do you account for the absence of mothers in Frankenstein? How is this relevant to an understanding of the part played by women in the novel?
In what ways is it helpful to consider Frankenstein in the contexts of (a) Gothic fiction and (b) Romanticism?
How do you respond to the view that the Monster is Frankenstein's double,
representing the evil side of his character?
Frankenstein as a Gothic Novel Essay
1332 Words6 Pages
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; according to Tracy, is a description of a fallen world. We experience this fallen world though the aspects of a novel: plot, setting, characterization, and theme (De Vore, Domenic, Kwan and Reidy). As well, early Gothic novels have characterized themselves through the use of moral commitment and exotic atmosphere in their themes (Lowry 32). Stock characters that were typically present in Gothic literature were the social outcast, the…show more content…
Frankenstein’s use of atmosphere and imagery is used in a typical Gothic setting – dark in nature. In James Whale’s 1931 adaptation of Frankenstein, imagery such as crosses, a statue of Death, and a crucified Jesus Christ are shown to give a first impression into the macabre nature of Henry Frankenstein’s gathering of corpses. As the plot advances, rain and thunder are added to show pathetic fallacy to foreshadow the creation of the monster and warn the viewer of the dangers of the monster’s creation. The dark setting of the castle is typical of the Gothic genre, and also contrasts with the use of light and fire as horrifying to the monster, a creature of darkness by nature. In Chapter 5 of Frankenstein, the creature’s ugliness is exemplied from Victor Frankenstein’s point of view: "It was on a dreary night of November, that I beheld the accomplishments of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony . . . I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breath hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs" (Shelley 56). Levine’s analysis of Chapter 5 tells of the horrors Victor experiences when creating the monster, experiencing his lover, Elizabeth turn from beauty into death and decay in his dream. This foreshadows Victor’s grievance and turn to vengeance over the monster’s killing out of those he loves – being rejected as an ugly and demonic being (Levine 21). Shelley