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The Development of the Gothic Genre in Mary Shelley’s FrankensteinUp until 1800, literature in general consisted of a spontaneousexpression of idyllic images of love – ultimately categorised as “TheRomantic Movement.” From this sprouted Romanticism’s antithesis -literary Gothicism.

When it was first introduced in the late 18th century, Gothicliterature featured accounts of terrifying experiences set ingraveyards or ancient castles, and descriptive motifs such asflickering lamps and ghostly figures. These have now become images ofstereotypical horror. As it developed, Gothic literature came todesignate everything to do with the macabre, mysterious andsupernatural in literature more generally.

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Now one of the most recognisable forms of literature, Gothicism gainedits popularity due to the stark contrast from anything that precededit, and the surrounding controversy that shocked and intrigued itsaudiences. New scientific discovery swept across 18th centurycivilization, and the need for knowledge had overcome society. To theless educated, Gothic literature, (with its strong themes of science,)was seen as a way to further understand and involve themselves withinthese interesting developments, while the experienced scientist wouldbe curious of the science mentioned in Gothicism.

Another major theme that Gothicism claimed was religion. The societyof mid 1800 looked upon God as an omnipotent figure; he was powerful,judgmental and supreme. However, many opposing and previouslyuntouched views on God were infused in the theme of Gothic literature.

Even today, the difference between science and religion is a topi…

…ect and his morals were dissolute, andhis eventual insanity, Frankenstein – and the reader – becomes fullyimmersed in the twisted macabre and supernatural horror of the Gothicnovel. It dares to shock its audience with taboo subjects, leavingthem with the enduring feeling that they have been awoken to a darkerside of life. “Frankenstein”, along with the rest of the gothic genre,shattered the tight-knit and perhaps naive society of the 18thcentury, causing some to shun it out of their lives, but in manyothers it provoked the hidden fascination with all things to do withthe macabre, sinister side to life. As in 1800, this effect is stillprevalent in our modern, less bigoted society, and today many elementsof Gothicism are featured in stories, and interlaced within the plotsof horror films throughout the world.

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