I. Author and Author Background
1.) Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born on August 30, 1797, and died February 1, 1851, at the age of fifty-four. She was born into a family of literary celebrities. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and her father, William Godwin, were both distinguished authors. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of Mary Shelley’s birth, her mother died eleven days after giving birth to her due to puerperal fever. Her mother’s death left Godwin to care for Mary and her three-year-old half-sister, Fanny. Mary Shelley was eighteen, not yet nineteen, when she wrote Frankenstein. She started writing Frankenstein in 1816, which was the same year she married her husband, Percy Shelley. Mary Shelley had four children throughout her life. Unfortunately, three of them died early in their lives. Her fourth child named Percy Florence lived even longer than Mary herself. Of all the heartbreak and miseries that Mary Shelley had gone through, there had to have been some of her own personal history evident in the novel. Since there were so many deaths in her life: her sister’s suicide, her mother’s death, and her three children’s death, the monster, in my opinion, could have represented the sicknesses and the deaths that she had encountered. She may have felt like the very character she created, Victor Frankenstein, which may be the reason she portrayed the character so well. Although she encountered many deaths, like Victor Frankenstein, I believe that she felt similar to the way the monster had. After all, Mary Shelley was neglected by her father and her step-mother after the death of her birth mother. She often felt alone and unhappy just as the monster had.
II. Gothic Novel
1.) The elements of a gothic novel can be extensive, but they all are mainly the same in some shape or form. A gothic novel should have some type of mystery or suspenseful mood. Some type of supernatural occurrences should be somewhere in the story. Emotions should be on edge for some characters because the characters are often overcome by high emotions, such as sadness or terror. In many gothic novels, there are usually females in distress or some kind of overpowering male that is a threat to them. In gothic novels, something called a metonymy is used. For example, if there was a scene in a novel where the character is filled with great sorrow, there would be a dark and gloomy rainstorm. The vocabulary of a gothic novel can also play a huge role. There are some words in a gothic novel that are used very often. Anguish and hopeless are very popular words used to represent sadness, so popular, in fact, that they were used repeatedly in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It is said that the first gothic novel originated in 1764 when the novel The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole was written. The word “goth” originally came from a Germanic tribe. The Romans regarded goths as crude and unsophisticated. Considering the meaning of the word Goth is a person of no refinement, the Romans were spot on. Since there is some sort of supernatural beings or occurrences in gothic novels, Frankenstein definitely falls into the gothic literature category. Frankenstein fits because Victor Frankenstein made his monster out of dead people’s body parts and brought it to life. In Gothic novels there are usually horrific elements of terror. In the novel, Frankenstein, the monster instills fear in people because of his threats to Victor and the murders he committed. In fact, two of the people the monster killed consisted of a naive child and an innocent woman. III. Romantic Novel
1.) Romantic novels usually consist of different elements and characteristics. There is usually some kind of powerful love between characters. It is usually an overwhelming emotion for the character. Love occurred in Frankenstein between Victor and Elizabeth because they wanted to get married and be together. Generally the lovers have to part...
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