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The Gothic Setting Of Frankenstein Essay

927 words - 4 pages

One of the most important aspects of any gothic novel is setting. Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is an innovative and disturbing work of misery, dread, and remorse that exemplifies what a gothic novel should be.  Shelly reveals the story of a man's thirst for knowledge which leads to a monstrous creature that goes against the laws of nature and natural order. Victor Frankenstein, in disgust, abandons his creation who is shunned by all who meet him, yet still feels and wants affection and love.  The monster then seeks revenge for his life of isolation and misery.  The setting can bring about these feelings of loneliness, sadness, and despair. Shelly's writing shows how the dramatic and gothic ...view middle of the document...

Shelly can keep the mood and create a mental picture and it is in this way she begins to foreshadow coming danger. An example of this is after Victor is alerted by his father of William’s death and is traveling to Geneva, Victor says, “...the darkness and storm increased every minute, and the thunder burst with a terrific crash over my head...vivid flashes of lightning dazzled my eyes, illuminating the lake, making it appear like a vast sheet of fire; then for an instant everything seemed of a pitchy darkness...”(62). Here, once again, weather is used to set the scene and to give a gothic mood. The thunder is meant to instill a feeling of fear and the intermittent lightning gives a sense of uncertainty from the the bright flashes to complete darkness. Victor also describes the lake as a sheet of fire, and as human beings we have a primitive instinct to associate fire as something that can hurt us.
  The setting, as it can affect the reader, can also greatly impact the actions of characters in the novel .  Frankenstein's creation proclaims that; “...the desert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge.  I have wandered here many days; the caves of ice which I only do not fear, are a
dwelling to me, and the only one which man does not grudge.”(88).  Here the creature explains
how he lives in places where man cannot go because the temperatures and dangers of these settings are too extreme and he wishes to be isolated and separate from the society that hated him so much. Also the desolate settings that he lives in represents the creatures harsh and dangerous feelings. But near the end, Frankenstein's rage takes him all over the world in an obsessed...

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