Frankenstein- Gothicism and Romanticism
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In Frankenstein Romanticism and Gothicism directly relate to the tone, setting, and characters of the story. Romanticism deals with nature, imagination, and generally goes against the rules of society. Gothicism branches off of Romanticism and is associated with horror, the supernatural and gloom. Throughout the story of Frankenstein, Gothicism and Romanticism can be found when evaluating the characters, the tone and the setting.
The story of Frankenstein is about a young man, Victor, who has a thirst for knowledge, especially in science. Victor pushes the boundaries of the Law of Nature by attempting to put together a creature that is composed of various dead body parts, each belonging to a different person. Victor is fascinated with the anatomy of the human body and how it decomposes. He wants to bring the dead back to life. What he does not consider is the result of succeeding with this experiment. Which eventually becomes responsible for his downfall (Shelley 17-198).
In the beginning of the story Romanticism is related to Victors desire to exceed societys level of understanding by leaving his family in Geneva and furthering his education in Ingolstadt (Shelley 28-34). While studying he becomes obsessed with the anatomy of the human body and the decomposition of it. He begins to imagine bringing back the dead, and eventually his knowledge surpasses his professors once he believes he can create a new race (Shelley 35-41).
Gothicism can be discovered during the story when describing the weather. Throughout the story, Shelley uses the weather to demonstrate that something bad is going to happen, or when the monster is near. On the night the monster is created there was a thunderstorm and lighting. The bad weather is a foretelling that there is no good that is going to come from any of the events that occur that night (Shelley 42-47). Also, hints of Gothicism can be linked to Victors good friend Henry. After Victor recovers from his mental sickness, Henry takes him on a walk through the countryside, as a means to heal him (Shelley 48-54). In Romanticism Nature can be used as a way to lift someones spirits.
Two characteristics of Gothicism are gloom and horror. As soon as Victor first lays eyes on the monster after it comes to life, he is haunted by what he has done. He becomes mentally unstable and requires the aid of his good friend Henry. Victor represents the horror component of Gothicism, where as the monster represents the gloom component of Gothicism. The monster grows morose because he is not accepted into society. At the sight of him everyone becomes fearful, horrified and mean. Victor is full of guilt, regret and fear because the monster he created is coming after his family, and his loved ones. The creature kills William, Henry and Elizabeth because they are important to Victor (Shelley 55-178).
Romanticism and Gothicism impact this book by being reflected in the