To what extent is “Frankenstein” typical of gothic literature? In you answer make close references to its context and Mary Shelly’s use of language. This essay will assess how typical of the gothic genre writings is Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein”. The novel was written at a time when electricity was first discovered and Galvanism was being explored, mainly for medical reasons. People at this time were ignorant and sceptical of medicine and so most people would have been disgusted by these studies. At this time the Romantic period was well under way, this movement (which Mary shelly and her husband Percy Shelly who was
a poet belonged to) was about freedom of thought, the beauty of nature and the imagination. It was also a time of social change, with the French revolution just over the waters; this could be why the novel is mainly set in central Europe. The structure of Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” is in many ways typical of the gothic genre. Within the novel there are many letters written to family members explaining what’s going on at that point, this builds up suspense, which is a technique many authors who wrote in that era used. The novel also has an a cyclical structure, which means
it starts and finishes in the same place, this gives the book a sense of mystery, another characteristic of the gothic genres writings. The structural ending at the end of the novel has no closure, the monster clam’s he is about to commit suicide, however we don’t have any substantial proof of this fact, this is yet another trait of gothic literature, the ending leaves you wondering “He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance”. The ending kind of mirrors what is happening during the rest of the book because at the end of most of the chapters you are left wondering as most are left at
cliffhangers and you wanting more. In the gothic genre most of the characters ate isolated and lonely, and in the novel of “Frankenstein” the main characters are all both solitary and isolated protagonists. Frankenstein had all of his greatest loves and people who he cares about are murdered by his creation, which in its self is ironic. Even before his friends and family are taken away from him, he is lonesome because in guarding his secret he is pushing others away from him for fear that they would be discussed with him, due to the advancements in medicine at the time, people were sceptical of chances.