What are the gothic elements in "Frankenstein"?


Quick Answer

The gothic elements of Mary Shelley's novel, "Frankenstein," include supernatural motifs, medieval architecture and mysterious aspects of human nature. Other gothic elements involve the desire for knowledge, the doppelganger, the monster and the eventual fall of man.

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Full Answer

The supernatural and mysterious elements of the novel include Frankenstein's ability to create the monster and the subsequent life the monster lives. Shelley explores human nature by making the monster seem to be more "human" than his creator. The monster is a fantastical character and his human emotions make him a doppelganger for Frankenstein, who becomes more like a monster as the novel progresses. The monster haunts Frankenstein from the very day he was created, which is a characteristic of the doppelganger.

As with most gothic literature, the hero becomes a villain in Shelley's novel. Frankenstein's thirst for knowledge and power ruins his life, as the monster first becomes a burden and then becomes something to fear as he seeks revenge on the scientist. Frankenstein also touches upon the fall of man to expose the inner battle between good and evil. The different settings of the novel also echo the gothic genre with dark castles, a mysterious laboratory and the icy waters of the Arctic.

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