the gothic setting of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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Frankenstein: What makes it a Gothic Novel?

One of the most important aspects of any gothic novel is setting.

Mary Shelly 's Frankenstein is an innovative and disturbing work that

weaves a tale of passion, misery, dread, and remorse. Shelly reveals the

story of a man 's thirst for knowledge which leads to a monstrous creation

that goes against the laws of nature and natural order. The man, Victor

Frankenstein, in utter disgust, abandons his creation who is shunned by

all of mankind yet still feels and yearns for love. The monster then seeks

revenge for his life of loneliness and misery. The setting can bring about

these feelings of short-lived happiness, loneliness, isolation, and despair.

Shelly 's writing shows how the varied
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Furthermore, the setting can greatly impact the actions in a novel

such as this. Frankenstein 's abhorred creation proclaims that: "the

desert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge. I have wandered

here many days; the caves of ice which I only do not fear, are a dwelling

to me, and the only one which man does not grudge" (Shelly 84). The

pitiful creature lives in places where man cannot go for reason that the

temperatures and dangers of these settings are too extreme. But near

the end, Frankenstein 's rage takes him all over the world in an obsessed

search for his doppelganger enduring terrible hardships, which the

monster, too, has endured. Frankenstein pursues his creation to the

Artic wastes, revenge being the only thing keeping him alive. This "serves

only to thicken the strange darkness that surrounds and engulfs them"

(Nitchie 274). Here it seems as if Frankenstein may finally capture his

adversary, but nature thinks otherwise. The monster tempts his enraged

creator through a world of ice and the setting becomes a hindrance as

the "wind arose; the sea roared; and, as with the mighty shock of an

earthquake; it split and cracked with a tremendous and overwhelming

sound. the work was soon finished; in a few minutes a tumuluous sea

rolled between me and my enemy" (Shelly 191). Because of this gothic

setting amid the Artic ice floes, the despair hits both Frankenstein and

the reader.

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