The Gothic as Portrayed Through Taboo Material in Frankenstein

The distinctive features of the Gothic may be defined as a series of strategies, partly evasive, partly revelatory for dealing with tabooed material. Discuss with reference to Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, although not placed within the 'gothic' setting of a large brooding castle in a Catholic town, is nonetheless immediately identifiable as gothic due to the macabre and uncanny set of circumstances it describes. It is also, "melodramatically violent, and often deals with aberrant psychological states" which is part of M. H. Abrams' definition of what is 'Gothic'. Eve Kosovsky Sedgewick describes certain key characteristics that relate to the idea of the 'gothic novel': an "involuted" style of writing; "possibilities of incest"; "poisonous effects of guilt"; the "unspeakable"; "doubles", heroines of "trembling sensitivity" and "impetuous" heroes. These subjects inspired fear in the reader and subsequently a revulsion for the subject described. Because of this dramatic creation of horror and tension, which perhaps served to detract from more minor elements of the plot, taboo subjects could be more easily explored, new...

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