The Gothic and Romantic Elements in Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a perfect combination of Goth and Romance to make an unforgettable story.

Gothic novels generally have some type of mystery and include the supernatural. Shelley uses mysterious circumstances in the story such as when Victor is searching for body parts to put together his creation and she uses the supernatural aspect of raising the dead to give the story an eerie tone.

Gothic novels also take place is dark and gloomy places such as castles or old buildings and in this case the setting of Victors laboratory where he created his “monster” is a perfect example. Victor describes how: “It was on a dreary night of November” (Shelley 58). Also in the arctic, where Walton travelled through, is an unfamiliar place which adds mystery to the reading because the reader wonders what it is like.  In Gothic novels the theme of pain is also carried out through the story. In Frankenstein the creature also feels pain throughout the book especially when he ran out of the village after confronting the Delacy’s: “I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as me would not deny herself to me” (Shelley 133).

Most importantly, Frankenstein deals with the most intense element of goth; death. There is lots of death throughout the book starting with the death of Victors Mother which sets a sad and gloomy feel. When the creature wants revenge on Victor he uses the act of murder by killing Victors brother and wife Elizabeth.

While the Gothic element adds to the story it also features Romantic aspects as well. Firstly, I will talk about the belief in the power of the individual. This is because this is the first thing I noticed when reading. I believe that Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein both share the title of being an individual. This is because they both share the passion for discovery; Walton and his voyage to the North Pole and Victor with his goal of creating life.They both share their own thoughts and ideas making them individuals.

There is also the love and appreciation of nature. The story takes place in Switzerland and we can see how romantic of a character Victor is because of his response to nature: “Dear mountains! My own beautiful lake! Your summits are clear; the sky and lake are blue and placid” (Shelley 72). The creature also appreciates nature in the same way. Throughout the novel, the creature is seen admiring nature: “the pleasant sunshine, and the pure air of day” (Shelley 144). Nature, in a way, restores the creature back to peace and calms him.

With the thoughts of mountains and skies on one page to gloomy nights and death on the next, Frankenstein was truly an interesting and unforgettable read.


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