Theme Of Transgression In Frankenstein

1235 WordsNov 10, 20175 Pages
The 1764 book entitled 'The Castle of Otranto' by Horace Walpole paved the way for other exemplary displays of Gothic literature which included the likes of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' and Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. Horace Walpole founded several perennial features of the subgenre, many which endure today, such as the subterranean secret, the gloomy castle and ghostly sightings. [1] This shaped the way in which we understand the genre. Transgression is a continual theme within the genre, meaning an “act that goes against a law, rule or code of conduct. During the 18th and 19th centuries, crucial changes were taking place around the world that influenced the formation of the Gothic writing. Industrialisation and political unrest were at the…show more content…
[3] The theme of transgression in Gothic literature differs in 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte. Both Cathy and Heathcliff are trapped by the conventional border of society which acts as a limit to their great love and passion. Cathy is unable to marry Heathcliff because he is a liminal character who has been marginalised, therefore, she chooses to marry Edgar who has a high status society, thereby confining herself to a low-burning type of love, symbolised by the “lattice” of the Grange. Later, when she falls ill, she “transgresses” the border into the other world beyond life, the only realm where she can be with the man she feels a strong, passionate love for. Bronte herself appears to advocate this kind of transgression. Following this, when Cathy dies, Heathcliff feels an overwhelming need to remain with her. Heathcliff informs Nelly that he partially unearthed her grave. Finally, when Heathcliff dies, his transgression of the boundary between life and death is represented once again in the image of the open window. [4] 'Frankenstein' needs to be read in light not only of Mary Shelley’s background, but also in light of the era which it came from. Gothicism is part of the Romantic Movement that started in the late eighteenth century and lasted to roughly three decades within the nineteenth century. It was characterised by ideas of intuition and emotion which started to undermine rationalism and the heroic ideal presented
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