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The Gothic Novel

Mary Shelly in her introduction to the novel Frankenstein says that she took inspiration from the ghost stories, she had book reading in those time but also from her reading about the reanimation of corps and the creation of life. Mary Shelly recreation the myth of Prometheus. In fact Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods to give to man, challenged the divine authority as much as “Dr. Frankenstein” challenged the laws of nature to create a new human being from dead bodies. Another important aspect that inspired her was a ghost stories read at villa Dionati and the rime of the ancient mariner by Coleridge. In his poem Coleridge tells the story of marines who a crime against nature as Dr. Frankenstein did by sheeting the albatross.

Mary Shelly vary much attracted by the latest scientific theories of or time especially by experiment in field of chemistry and on electricity is not by chance that Dr. Frankenstein gives life to his creature using electricity.

The main characters are:


• Walton a young explorer on a voyage of expedition to the north pole.
• Sister of Walton Margaret Saville
• Dr. Frankenstein
• The creature that is the result of negative experiment its defined as: devil, fiend, monstrous, detested form.

The technique of novel is the form epistolary, there are three different narrators that are Walton that informs his sister ( Margaret Saville). Then Frankenstein informs Walton, who informs Frankenstein, who informs Walton, who informs his sister

The THEMES :
• Find the figure of the man in search of the forbidden knowledge
• The figure of the overreaches , both Mr Walton and Dr. Frankenstein try to go beyond the natural limits.
• The themes of the double in fact Dr. Frankenstein is very much like his creatures the monster. They are similar in their alienation and isolation from society, they wont to be good at first, but they feel hatred and revenge over society.
• Frankenstein tries to get in to the secrets of nature but he is finally defeated-
• Another import theme in the novel is the usurpation the role of woman as creates of a new life
• The novel shows the figure of outcast in society. Both Frankenstein and the monster are victims of social prejudices they are isolated from society they feel lovely but at the same time they are proud of being different.

The Gothic novel :


The Gothic novel become popular in 18th century thanks to circulating libraries in all social classes . the word Gothic in a first time was linked to architecture then the word Gothic was used for literature, Horace Walpole was the first to establish a link between the two.

The main ingredients of Gothic novel are horror and terror as two different ingredients the former characterized by obscurity and uncertainty and the later by evil and atrocity. The setting time is the night because it create an atmosphere of gloom, oppression and mystery. The setting place characterized by isolated castles, mysterious abbeys and convents and secret rooms. The atmosphere is mystery and gloom. The characters of Gothic novels are honorable and sensitive heroes simply and honest heroes.

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