How is the setting of Frankenstein typical of its genre?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

All the "spooky" elements of description in Shelley's 'Frankenstein' are Gothic by nature - dark alleys, ships in a turbulent sea, high winds, frozen wastelands are all part of this pictoral landscape. Gothic literature goes hand in hand with the spirit of naturalism, a mind frame (post Romantic) which viewed nature as an overly powerful, even hostile force.

Today,"going Gothic" has been a popular fad which lingers on among a privileged few, but fascination with the eerie, the passionate, the irrational and the eccentric is still part of the essential connotation of the word.

Check out the references below for more insight into the specific Gothic elements in Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein,' which was, after all, the invention of tales told late at night around a flickering fire among friends with the sole purpose of scaring one another  - less!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This story is largely considered to be one of the most influential of the Gothic romance genre.

How is it typical of the genre?

One of the key tenets of the Gothicromance genre is dealing with the supernatural, doomed love, and usually have a back setting of nature or at least castles and/or crumbling ruins of some kind. There is, or rather was, a strong current of individuality and and a strong emphasis on imagination.

All of these tropes can be found within the story. The bringing back to life, Victor and Elizabeth, and the Creature's haunts helped cement what the genre was to countless generations. It was not the first, but the impact of the novel was so large that it became the standard for the genre, and when people thought of the Gothic romance, the imagery of the story is what they thought of when the genre was brought up. I hope this helps.  

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial