‘the Narrative Voice Is an Important Element in the Use of Realist and Non-Realist Techniques and Conventions.’

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It is not always easy to categorise literary forms into a particular genre or style of writing. Therefore to classify the realist novel, which became the foremost form of writing in the early nineteenth century, we can perhaps best describe it as a body of prose that is interested and concerned with everyday life. This of course leads us to assume, as readers of twenty-first century novels, that a non-realist novel would therefore offer the reader an escape into an alternative world where settings and events are far from what would be expected in everyday life. Two examples of this that would immediately spring to mind nowadays would be perhaps the science fiction or horror genres. However, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,…show more content…
’…this discovery was so great and overwhelming, that all the steps by which I had progressively led to it were obliterated, and I beheld only the result.’ (Frankenstein, p.34.) and ’…but I doubted not that I should ultimately succeed.’ (Frankenstein, p.35.). Yet when he does ‘ultimately succeed’, he runs from his laboratory and cannot bear the responsibility for the creature he has created.

Shelley, in giving us Frankenstein as the hero of the Gothic story with its non-realist romantic and dramatic prose and science fiction roots, has given us a broken hero. This helps to ground the reader in the realist aspect of the story. Frankenstein suffers with his nerves, loves and misses his family and constantly worries for their safety. There is friendship and love and even a wedding which all make for a realistic feel. And yet for all that Frankenstein does suffer; the illness brought on by the success of his experiment, the murders of his brother and closest friend, even the death of his wife, it is difficult to remain sympathetic when he so adamantly refuses to feel even a small amount of pity for the creature that he created.

When we are eventually within the creature’s story, he tells Frankenstein of his struggle to find a safe place to live, to learn how to communicate and live alongside other people. Shelley’s prose here gives the creature an almost poetic nature,
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