Gothic And Romanticism In Frankenstein

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Being a key figure of her time, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (1818) was written during the midset of the first industrial revolution (Hammond 184). The Romantic and scientific revolutions by that time had an huge impact on her work and can be seen as the sources of Frankenstein (Moers 322). Hence, Shelleys novel is influenced by both Romanticism and Gothic. Shelley’s novel Frankenstein belongs to the literature of the overreacher: “the superman who breaks through normal human limitations to defy the rules of society and infringe upon the realm of God“ ( Moers 322). Although, Shelleys overreacher is kind of a different one. Victor Frankenstein does not cross forbidden boundaries for himself, but by the creation of a creature, by giving…show more content…
Frankenstein realises that chasing the creature is both in vain and compulsory (Schug 615). On the one hand, it is in vain because he tries to achieve a finality, which is beyond the bonds of possibility. Frankenstein is rather chasing the answers to the dreadful questions he tried to avoid before the homicide of Frankenstein’s beloved ones than chasing his physical creation of the monster (Schug 615). It is compulsory because Frankenstein’s only reason to hold on to life is the pursuit of the responsibility to form his values anew (Schug 615): his moral dilemma whether he is “responsible to his own creature or for the rest of humanity“ (Schug 616). We can not know whether the story would have ended in a different way, if Frankenstein stayed instead of running away when he first faces his creation:“ […] one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped, and rushed down the stairs.“ (Shelley 36). Therefore, the novel is, in fact, not about giving birth or about what comes before birth, but about the afterbirth (Schug 616). It is about what follows birth at all: “the trauma of afterbirth“ (Schug 616) Thus, it is not only Frankenstein’s trauma but also the trauma of what he created (Schug
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