Ellen Moers defines female gothic as the “work that women writers have done in the literary mode that, since the eighteenth century” (317). Gothic writings are fake fear; fear to stimulate what you might feel if this were actually to happen. But, gothic is not tragedy, tragedy is more terror and horror. Ellen Moers’ essay is about the evolution of different gothic writings and writers. As she states in her essay, “For Frankenstein is a birth myth, and one that was lodged in the novelist’s imagination, I am convinced, by the fact that she was herself a mother.”(319) Reading this quote changed my perspective of the novel Frankenstein. I believe that the author intended for Frankenstein to be a ‘mother’ and the monster to stimulate the process.
“Frankenstein seems to be distinctly a women’s mythmaking of the subject of birth precisely because its emphasis is not upon what precedes birth, not upon birth itself, but upon what follows birth: the trauma of the after birth. Fear and guilt, depression and anxiety are commonplace reactions to the birth of a baby.” (321) Extending from the thesis of Moers essay, I believe that this quote can become an observation. In Frankenstein, Frankenstein gets the feeling of fear, guilt, depression and anxiety all after creating his monster, or ‘the baby’. Moers shows that birth is a terrible thing, using Ann Radcliffe as an example. But then she moves on to Mary Shelley. Mary Shelley is the total opposite of Ann Radcliffe. Shelley created a whole new view point of the Gothic tradition. Her statements would have created Frankenstein a (modern day) science-fiction. Shelley introduced birth to fiction. “…Frankenstein, the scientist, runs away and abandons the newborn monster, who is and remains nameless.”(320). This quote is an explanation of how Shelley writes. It is very interesting and powerful. “…thus contributed to romanticism a myth of genuine originality.” (320). If Shelley never introduced birth into fiction romanticism...
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