Monsters are created from fear, and fear changes from generation to generation. While there are things that humans are afraid of all the time, specific periods of time can be defined through one cohesive fear. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, fear and how the characters act on that fear is used as a plot device to help characterize her antagonist and protagonist, Victor Frankenstein and his monster. It is through analysis of character interactions between the these two and society around them that helps to define who is truly the monster, and who is the victim. During the Victorian Era there was only one thing its people truly feared: nonconformity.
Stories written during the Gothic Era have a dark nature to them. One story that highlights the prime elements of the Gothic Era is Dracula by Bram Stoker. Dracula incorporates the themes of the Gothic Era all throughout the book. Dracula is filled with settings that are isolated, dark, and sinister which are important characteristics of the Gothic Era. It
Monsters and Narrative : The construction of the fears from within the text in Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Gothic literature, more often than not, deals with monsters. The monster is a representation of the strongest fears and the more hidden desires of the society in which the book is written. In The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as in Frankenstein, this fear is also contrasted with the narration of each story. In other words, the fear represented through each monster is exalted with the way each story is narrated. In both stories the monster is a creation of scientific research but each one threatens the world in different ways.
Xenophobia is an intense fear of people from other countries foreigners and the theme of xenophobia is present in the novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker. By building on Micheal Kane’s suggestion that Count “Dracula … sucks the very life blood of the community” (1) and Kane’s remark about how the “'outside' becomes the imagined repository of anything deemed undesirable which exists ‘inside’." (10), I will be discussing Count Dracula’s actions which signify the fear brought by Count Dracula into England. Further by discussing Dr. Leila S. May’s remarks “about the fear of a contamination that, already exist[s] within, could even infect the forces of vigilance themselves” (16), I will further investigate Count Dracula’s role as a foreigner that portrays fear and how Van Helsing is similar yet different from Count Dracula. Scholars have analyzed the character of Count Dracula, however the character of Van Helsing, who plays the opposition of Count Dracula has not been studied in depth.
This paper argues that prejudice and xenophobia in humanity play an essential part in the happenings told in Shelley’s work. As Lawrence Lipking rightfully assessed the creature at first is “too good” (Lipking 428) and “innocent” (Lipking 428) but sooner rather than later “hostility and prejudice of men” (Lipking 428) awake desires of violence and revenge in it which lead to its awful plot against its creator. There is a huge shift in the emotions of Victor Frankenstein once his work is done and the creature finally opens its eyes. While
In her novel Mary Shelley explores the central ideas of rejection and abandonment, human nature, good and evil and revenge to support the conviction of Frankenstein’s responsibility in the novel and Frankenstein is a reflection of this. Shelley shows through positioning of characters within the stories that good and evil is not clear-cut and there are many moral grey areas. The readers are positioned to feel sympathy for the creature, especially since his yearnings for human contact could easily be their own. Which makes it all the more frightening when Victor and others treat him in such vile ways. Shelley uses the novel to explore human nature, Frankenstein wants the readers to see the creature as a monster however they don’t.
Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution only added to the hysteria as people started to believe that if humans could evolve, they could possibly devolve too. Victorians viewed deformity as a form of regression, so many people feared Mr. Hyde because they did not want to end up like him. They believed that if they were to surround themselves around him, they too would develop “ape-like” features and tendencies (Stevenson 25). A wall was put between the normal and the abnormal as Victorians feared that they could be exposed to deformities and invade their bloodline simply by being in the same room with someone. Victorians wanted a separation between them and the “freaks” because this realization that anyone could become Mr. Hyde was terrifying.
‘Dracula’ is a modern play which is adapted, by Liz Lochhead, from the classic horror novel written by Bram Stoker. The play is set during the Victorian era and develops the key themes that were prevalent during this era such as sexual hypocrisy. Lochhead’s unusual approach paces much more significance on the female characters, in particular, Mina and Lucy and puts much less significance on the more well-known and traditional main characters Dracula and Van Helsing. This repression of sexual desires is expressed as Lucy struggles to cope with the social convention of how Victorian women had to behave. In the opening scene, Lucy has conflicting elements in her character and struggles to cope with social convention as Liz Lochhead describes
It symbolizes the horrible violence and deeds executed by Macbeth that Lady Macbeth is suffering from. Throughout Macbeth, the symbol of the supernatural plays an important role to the development of the plot. At the end of the sleepwalking scene the doctor says, "Foul whisp'rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds Do breed unnatural troubles" (V. i. 49-50).
Massey concludes that ‘the monster is something completely internal, may be simply solipsism itself, or an unhappy form of narcissism an aspect with which Frankenstein cannot or will not come to terms”. Frankenstein, although able to identify with the Creature in fleeting moments of self-indulgent despair - ‘my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me’ (p.60) – abandons his creation. His neglected creation, a necessary vehicle of abjection and othering, continues to haunt him, reappearing throughout the novel in a manner that mirrors Freud’s theory of the inevitable return of the repressed. The tragedy of the narrative is not, perhaps, accountable merely to the existence of the Gothic Doppelgänger, but rather Frankenstein’s failure to realize that, as Mahoney aptly describes, ‘freedom comes not in eliminating the shadow but in recognizing him in
“Fear can challenge our sense of humanity and understanding of the world” This is a broad statement and in a book with over 300 pages, I will be focusing on certain parts in each of the books. Proving that fear can and really does challenge our sense of humanity and understanding in the world, from the start of the book where they tried to make up a rational solution to make this all seem like it wasn’t real, to actively fight against the evil they had so vehemently protested against existing. Bram stokers 19th-century fictitious Gothic novel 'Dracula ' is incredibly complex with many different characters from the meek and underestimated Mina, to the courageous and respected Van Helsing. Dracula’s castle was just the beginning of what was to come. Jonathan 's meeting of the three female vampires it was a catalyst for what he believed was right and wrong.
Novels portrayed by fear, horror, death and mystery are said to be gothic. The genre was originated in the 17th century and was popularized in the 18th century with novels such as “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. It follows the battle between Dracula, a vampire, and a group of men and women trying to stop him from spreading the undead curse. It’s the ultimate battle between good and evil. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker includes traditional elements such as women in distress, supernatural events, and a dark, impending settings that occur in gothic novels.