Social Ostracisation Within Frankenstein

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The gothic explores, exposes and comments on society examine this claim in relation to ‘Social Ostracisation’

One of the powerful images conjured up by the words ‘gothic novel’ is that of a shadowy form rising from a mysterious place, Frankenstein’s monster rising from a laboratory table, Dracula creeping from his coffin, or, more generally, the slow opening of a crypt to reveal a dark and obscure figure, which all share in common the concept of Social Ostracisation both to the creator and creature. Gothic writing can be dated back for centuries, Shelly immediately comes to mind with Frankenstein as well as The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis and Dracula by Bram Stoker all can be associated with Social Ostracisation. The concept of alienating one to refuge, dismissal, and pain are all themes in these novels. The 1818 edition to Frankenstein tells us that the Shelly’s ‘Chief concern’ in writing the novel had been limited to ‘avoiding the enervating effects of the novels of the present day and to the exhibition of the amiableness of the domestic affection, and the excellence of the universal virtue’. In the further edition of Frankenstein published in 1831, Shelly brings her own personal faults with the present day and is subtle to interpreting her personal views on life to society’s in her novel, which could be from her family’s influences. These opinions to the novel can be depicted in many ways, Shelly does use the monster to represent the grotesque society she grew up in. The monster represents Social Ostracisation through self destruction after tasting love and passion through the Delacey family, to have it then be taken away. Victor Frankenstein also represents this through the lack of his own love and passion due to the death of his mother.

Shelly was the daughter of the anarchist philosopher and writer William Godwin and the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who died a few days after birth. She grew up surrounded by radical often revolutionary people during...
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