Saturday, January 14, 2017

Week 1 : Mary Shelley's Frankenstein


 Discuss a specific example of the gothic as it appears in Frankenstein. Choose one example that you think is particularly prominent, exaggerated or interesting in its "gothic-ness" and then describe it, what is gothic about it and what is the effect of this element in our reading of Frankenstein.


Frankenstein is what we would consider classically gothic, even in both of its renditions. Originally written in 1818 then revised and rewritten later on in 1831, Shelly perfectly embodied the traditional gothic tropes in literature such as establishing a dreary and dreadful atmosphere, playing with the ideas of bad omens, monsters and damsels in distress. But what stood out to me the most was how prominently the emotions of both the character and reader are involved.
This whole story begins with a series of letters retelling the story of doctor Frankenstein from the perspective of captain Walton.  Life of unfortunate events and a drive to strive for more lead Dr. Frankenstein to graduate form university where he would learn to reanimate a modge- podge of a corpse with the extensive scientific research he had conducted over the years. Unfortunately, the outcome was far from what he expected and the consequences were truly next level. From the very beginning what we see is both an emotional and psychological struggle from the protagonist, ultimately what happens in his attempt to be a success, he creates a physical manifestation of his anger and struggles. Essentially this would be  Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory : human behavior is the result of the interactions among three component parts of the mind: the id, ego, and superego; the split between creator and monster which is the embodiment of his consciousness. In its entirety, Shelly successfully portrays the supernatural and emotionally heavy tropes of gothic genre literature with Frankenstein; where death was the only release from the hell that both creator and monster were living in. 

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