Is Frankenstein considered a Gothic Novel?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is a gothic novel. Gothic novels typically involve mystery, evil, supernatural and dark aspects. Edgar Allen Poe’s work is largely gothic. Gothic literature, (in England and America) emerged as a genre alongside Transcendentalism and Romanticism, so there were overlapping themes such as overflowing emotion, the natural/supernatural and perhaps most significantly, the power of imagination in general creativeness but also the Imagination as a method for freer individual thinking and expression. Critics have noted that Frankenstein (and other gothic works) are exaggerated, sometimes grotesque, monstrous reflections/metaphors of general anxieties. That is to say, taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary or unfamiliar; and with gothic, this is usually in the form of dark, mysterious supernatural events. Some aspects of Frankenstein common to other gothic works are: supernatural, wild landscapes, castles, monsters, science fiction, medieval or pre-Victorian settings. Gothic literature and art was a reaction against rationalism (strict logical thinking) and the Enlightenment. Gothics and Romanticists wanted to explore the fantastic and therefore required a less logical method of creativity and more open to exploring the depths of the imagination, which tended to include things like demons, rituals, supernatural, vampires and so on.

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