In order to improve the horror story, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein incorporates many elements of the gothic genre. The novel of Frankenstein showcases gothic elements through supernatural situations that take place throughout the story such as death, fear, suspense, and its dark gloomy setting.
In the novel of Frankenstein, the gothic element of death can be described as the act or the fact that a person or entity is dead or killed; the end of a life. A Gothic tradition to frighten the reader is Frankenstein’s reason for death and reanimation of corpses. Gothic artifacts are traditionally aimed at reviving the dead. Shelley focuses on a scientist who creates a man from dead bodies in order to cause a funny, paranormal sensation in the reader. Gothic literature is always highly focussed on death, characters are continuously dying, especially Victor’s family members.
For example, victors mother dies of scarlet fever, William was murdered by the creature, Justine was put to death, and the beast also killed both Henry Clerval and Elizabeth. Gothicism is especially the concept of the corpse of Elizabeth, this is affirmed when Victor says “All over the place, I see the same figure—his bloodless arms and relaxed form thrown in the bridal bier of the assassin.” (211) Such death explanations are full of horror and therefore are intended to cause the reader to feel terror and tension.
The concept of fear can be described in many ways such as, an emotion caused by danger or threat, anxiety, or to be scared of someone or something. Looking at the roots of terror in the novel of Frankenstein helps understand how this story is still relevant in modern society now. The protagonists in the novel dislike the beast because of his horrific look as well as its raw power. It really is absolutely true how they fear the creature who is much bigger than them and who kills people, because nobody is willing to have to go through severe death and suffering.
The psychologically most strong element of the book, I believe, is the belief that we each have every possibility to become the creature. The monster stated “everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend.” At some point in our lives, we all experience loneliness, while it is sufficiently terrifying to see that suffering arising from this isolation is a real scary concept. Through this creature, Shelley warns us of the slow downward spirals that can easily lead to extreme sorrow, isolation and indignation.