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Frankenstein By Mary Shelley Is 'frankenstein' Purely A Gothic Horror Story, Or Is It A Precursor Of Modern Science Fiction?

1662 words - 7 pages

After realising the criteria of Gothic Horror and Science Fiction, this essay will be discussing further these criterion and deciding which one of these two genres does Frankenstein most relate to.It is accurate to say that a gothic horror story is defined as a frightening story that has echoes of the past and has a constant theme of gloom and the supernatural, which makes it dark and rather threatening. Science Fiction, on the other hand, is fiction based and claims scientific discoveries and often deals with convincing technological events, such as, space travel or life on other planets.By taking into account the definitions of the attributes, you can clearly see that one of the criteria ...view middle of the document...

Another feature included in a gothic horror is isolation. During the end of the story the monster feels lonesome and remote, he looses everything he ever loved and so has no choice but to head north for seclusion."Solitude was my only consolation - deep, dark, deathlike solitude."The most obvious criterion for a gothic story is the presence of strange monsters or creatures. This factor is definitely met as the story is mainly based on the repulsive creature Victor Frankenstein created. The extract below gives a description of the monster."His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of pearly whiteness...watery eyes, that seemed...dun-white sockets... his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips..."Subsequent, another criteria that is met is the main character dealing with and using secret knowledge and 'playing God'. Frankenstein undoubtedly tries to 'play God' while attempting to create life. This extract appears after Frankenstein has created the monster."Now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."A gothic horror story is usually set back in time. 'Frankenstein' was set back in time, but the story used ideas and thoughts that related to what could have been done in the future. The story used advanced technology complex theories that Victor Frankenstein invented."...I thought, that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time...renew life where death apparently devoted the body to corruption."This brings us to the next point, which is the use of machinery and new science. It can be clearly seen that new science and machinery were used while creating the monster. Victor Frankenstein invented new theories and discoveries to aid his work."From this day natural philosophy, and particularly chemistry, in the most comprehensive sense of term, became nearly my sole occupation."A gothic horror story also includes madness. You could say that Victor Frankenstein went mad with obsession and went too far without thinking of the consequences."Winter, spring and summer passed away during my labours...do deeply was I engrossed in my occupation. The leaves of that year had withered before my work drew to a close. But my enthusiasm was checked by my anxiety, and I appeared rather like one doomed by slavery to toil in the mines, or any other unwholesome trade..."Many people thought Victor Frankenstein was turning insane, as he became possessed by his thoughts. While writing a letter to him Elizabeth said: -"You have been ill, very ill..."The element of romance in this story is important as it engenders pity on the unfortunate victim; in this case Elizabeth was left to anguish and cause pity on her self. The aspect of romance in 'Frankenstein' is the only thing that stops Victor Frankenstein from going totally insane. The letters sent by Elizabeth helped Victor to retain his...

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