Thank you for your inquiry into the aspects of a Gothic novel, and I hope to aid you and I gather that advise you using the book Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley. More specifically I will look at Chapter 5 of Frankenstein and I have no doubt it will be of assistance. I aim to address is the criteria of a Gothic novel, while using Chapter 5 of Frankenstein to expand upon it. “Frankenstein” is a good example of a Gothic novel.
Written in 1816, by Mary Shelley, “Frankenstein” has become one of the most widely known examples of Gothic literature novels to date. It uses much of the issues around society at that time, dealing with scientific elements as well as more subtle components recounting to philosophical ideas such as nature vs. nurture. I will use chapter 5 more specifically, as it continues many of the elements which you require to create you novel which I will now go into greater detail into, with it being one of the most integral parts of the book.
A Gothic Novel is a story in which supernatural terrors and an atmosphere of mysterious horror infiltrates the action. Often the setting is dark and menacing, to reflect the mood of the novel, one of the common characteristics of a gothic novel are the lonely frightening settings, this is also often within a castle. “In a solitary chamber or cell at the top of the house and separated by all other apartments by a separate staircase”.
This is a very good example of how to use solitary and lonely, Mary Shelley uses these settings to emphasise the solitude and isolation Victor puts himself through as seen in chapter 5 with loneliness of the room where he confides himself (mainly due to the unsavoury nature of his work) described as a cell, within which symbolises the fact he and his creation are locked in together and the solitude that they share as well as cutting himself off from his family and friends. This room also contains a secret back staircase that he uses to transfer body parts from the church graveyard, adding to the somewhat creepy nature of this setting.
I will also reference Castle of Otranto which is generally regarded as the first gothic novel, which is as the name suggests is set a sinister and eerie castle, adding to the feeling of constant horror, mystery and suspense Secondly you must make sure that as your novel contains some form of mystery and suspense. The night of the monster’s creation is “dreary”, and “the rain patter(s) dismally against the panes; Victor first beholds his creature by the “glimmer of (a) half-extinguished light” of a candle nearly burnt out”. The next morning is “dismal and wet…
drenched by rain which pour(s) from a black and comfortless sky”. Victor himself is haunted by nightmares of “death…. horror… (a) corpse… a shroud… grave-worms crawling in the folds of the flannel”. Shelley uses her choice of words extremely effectively to build a constant picture of suspense and horror, word such as “from a black comfortless sky” adding to the sense of Suspense and solitude due to the night setting and “drenched by rain which pours” using words such as drenched to add to the horror with an unnerving setting and rain that could symbolise the demise of not only victors health but sanity.
The sentence structure is elongated, giving fell of a flowing stream of consciousness feel to the who sentence to enhance the horror of the situation as well as creating The gothic elements of the central plot are further substantiated by the mood and setting of the chapter, giver greater depth to the horror and mystery of events to come. This could be given support by another Gothic element of metonymy of gloom and horror. Metonymy can be explained as a subtype in which something (like rain) is used to stand for something else (like sorrow).
In chapter 5 it is used to great effect and the manufacture of his “magnificent creature”, and “the rain patter(s) dismally against the panes” is used in this case to signify the impending doom of the monsters creation. There are also more subtle examples including such as the setting at night, “dreary night” with the sense of dreariness symbolising the bleak and horrific events that are taking place. The “extinguishing of light” which all adds to the overall metonymic sense of horror, with the lack of light adding to the elements of horror, with greater emphasis but on the real connection between victor and his creation.