Gothic Literature

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Gothic Literature

Gothic novel carries a typical story focused on the sufferings imposed on an innocent heroine by a cruel and lustful villain and made large quantities use of ghosts, mysterious disappearances and other sensational and supernatural occurrences. The principle aim of any gothic novel is to evoke terror by exploiting mystery and variety of horrors.

Sometimes considered one of the first science fiction novels of supernatural terror, Frankenstein proved itself an instant success when released anonymously in 1818.

A deeper look into the character of Victor Frankenstein, the role of scientific experimentation and the intricate settings of nature in which the story evolves, prove Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein , a worthy example of both Romantic and Gothic representation in nineteenth century British Literature.

Romantic Terror

Frankenstein can also be considered a gothic novel, which were notoriously set in graveyards, ruins, and wild vivid landscapes. “Gothic novels were usually set in foreign countries; they took place in mountainous landscapes”. Also in gothic novels, “ the plots hinged on suspense and mystery, involving the fantastic and the supernatural”. With these characteristics of horror, Shelley provokes her readers with “a Romantic terror” and intrigues them with the ideas of the unknown.

The Supernatural

Creating a monster itself is a kind of mysterious circumstance of the novel. By the use of little known technology Victor gathers the bodily parts of his experiments he creates the monster. He uses the dead for his scientific experiments and out of the dead he creates the monster. It is very much supernatural and ghost like quality of the novel. The entire plot structure is dominated by the activities of the monster together with unbelievable supernaturally real miracles. At this point also the novel carries gothic elements.