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Frankenstein By: Mary Shelley


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Title: Frankenstein By: Mary Shelley

FrankensteinBy Mary Shelley
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  • He's Alive!
  • He's Alive 2!

Gothic Literature
  • First Gothic novel
  • 1754
  • The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
  • Last Gothic novel
  • 1847
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Gothic Literature Definition A literary style
popular during the end of the 18th century and
the beginning of the 19th. This style usually
portrayed fantastic tales dealing with horror,
despair, the grotesque and other "dark" subjects.
Gothic Literature Definition TODAY
  • Today, the Gothic is considered an attempt to
    expose and explore the unconscious world of
    desires and fears that both society and the
    individual, in an attempt to maintain stability,
    attempt to suppress.
  • Dark side of the human psyche
  • Gothic writers are interested in the breakdown of
    boundaries, in the exploration of what is
    forbidden, in desires that should neither be
    spoken of or acted upon

Elements of Gothic Novel
  • Story set in bleak, remote location
  • Physical/psychological torment
  • Mysterious, supernatural
  • Macabre

Gothic Literature
  • Characteristics
  • The atmosphere is pervaded by a sense of
    mystery, darkness, oppressiveness, fear, and doom
    to recreate the atmosphere of a crypt--a symbol
    of man's spiritual death and a "vehicle for
    presenting a picture of man as eternal victim,
    and finally, the victim is in some way entranced
    or fascinated by the inscrutable power of his

Gothic Literature
  • Characteristics
  • The setting of the gothic story is at some point
    within impenetrable walls (physical or
    psychological) to heighten the victim's sense of
    hopeless isolation--the central gothic image is
    the cathedral or haunted mansion within which the
    victim is imprisoned
  • There is a victim who is helpless against his
    torturer there is also a victimizer who is
    associated with evil and whose powers are immense
    or supernatural

  • Gothic literature focuses on humanitys
    fascination with the grotesque, the unknown, and
    the frightening, inexplicable aspects of the
    universe and the human soul. The Gothic "relates
    the individual to the infinite universe" (Varma
    16) and creates horror by portraying human
    individuals in confrontation with the
    overwhelming, mysterious, terrifying forces found
    in the cosmos and within themselves. Gothic
    literature pictures the human condition as an
    ambiguous mixture of good and evil powers that
    cannot be understood completely by human reason.

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Record the following gothic motifs in your notes.
Supernatural/Gothic Literary Motifs A motif is
a repeated theme, image, or literary device. Look
for these common supernatural/Gothic motifs in
The Double or Doppelganger (German for
"double-goer) Defined by Federick S. Frank as
"a second self or alternate identity, sometimes,
but not always, a physical twin. The Doppelganger
in demonic form can be a reciprocal or lower
bestial self or a Mr. Hyde. Gothic doppelgangers
often haunt and threaten the rational psyche of
the victim to whom they become attached.
Forbidden Knowledge or Power (Faust Motif)
Forbidden knowledge/power is often the Gothic
protagonists goal. The Gothic "hero" questions
the universes ambiguous nature and tries to
comprehend and control those supernatural powers
that mortals cannot understand. He tries to
overcome human limitations and make himself into
a "god." This ambition usually leads to the
heros "fall" or destruction however, Gothic
tales of ambition sometimes paradoxically evoke
our admiration because they picture
individuals with the courage to defy
fate and cosmic forces in an attempt to
transcend the mundane to the eternal and sublime.
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Monster/Satanic Hero/Fallen Man
The courageous search for forbidden
knowledge or power always leads
the hero to a fall, a corruption, or destruction,
such as Satans or Adams fall. Consequently,
the hero in Gothic
literature is often a "villain." The hero is
isolated from others by his fall and either
becomes a monster
or confronts a monster who is his double.
He becomes a "Satanic hero" if, like Satan, he
has courageously defied the rules of Gods
universe and has tried to transform himself into
a god. Note the mad scientist, who tries to
transcend human limitations through science, is a
type of Satanic hero that is popular in Gothic
literature (examples include Dr. Jekyll and
Multiple Narrative Spiral Narrative Method
The story is frequently told through a series of
secret manuscripts or multiple tales, each
revealing a deeper secret, so the narrative
gradually spirals inward toward the hidden truth.
The narrator is often a first-person narrator
compelled to tell the story to a fascinated or
captive listener (representing the captivating
power of forbidden knowledge). By
revealing to us their own souls secrets, these
narrators reveal the secrets of humankinds soul.
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Terrible truths are often revealed to characters
through dreams or visions. The hidden knowledge
of the universe and of human nature emerges
through dreams because, when the person sleeps,
reason sleeps, and the supernatural, unreasonable
world can break through. Dreams in Gothic
literature express the dark,
unconscious depths of the psyche that are
repressed by reason- truths that are too
terrible to be comprehended by the conscious

Reveal the intervention of cosmic forces and
often represent psychological or spiritual
conflict (e.g., flashes of lightning and violent
storms might parallel some turmoil within a
characters mind).
Find gothic elements in the following montage.