Title: an Analysis of the Horror in Frankenstein
Course: Introduction to English Literature II
Student Name: Sandra Wu
Student ID Number: 0831100066
Instructor: Dr. Jeff MATHER
The Date of Submission: 2010-11-4
After reading through Mary Shelley’s horror novel Frankenstein, it is strange that I can hardly tell what kind of horror it formed in my mind. I was not largely shocked by its scientific magic or supernatural powers. Nor was I deeply frightened by its horrible depiction of the monster or the thrilling narrative of physical scenes. Instead, what actually impressed and terrified me was the development of the whole story on a tone of gloom, oppression and eeriness. Like wandering in an old gothic castle, the greatest terror might not be created by the ghost but by the darkness, coldness and an aura of mystery in the castle. In this sense Frankenstein is a typical gothic novel. There are several gothic features evidently presented in the novel.
Though Frankenstein is considered as the first science fiction novel which involves some supernatural elements, Mary Shelly did not consider herself as merely weaving a series of supernatural terrors (preface, P3). So what else did she essentially try to develop in her novel? That is the truth of human nature. Therefore, a perfect combination of a luxuriant fancy of scientific improbability and a deep insight on real human life is the most obvious gothic feature in the novel, which makes the unconceivable story sound real, vivid and tangible. Take the monster for an example, his birth is totally an impossible occurrence from the medical perspective. However, instead of being a wholly cold-blooded monster he is more like an abandoned deformed baby with strong human feelings. His misery, hatred and desire for love all are rooted in human nature. Thus as a production of the combination of imagination and reality, the...