Siena's Essay

Submitted By siens96
Words: 526
Pages: 3

Siena D’Souza
AP English III
February 20, 2013

The Nature of the Gothic Novel: Frankenstein

Within most Gothic novels the element of nature is dominant; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is no different. The theme of nature is closely linked to a theme in Frankenstein that is traceable throughout the novel, community vs. individual. Nature vs. nurture could not be considered a theme in Frankenstein because nature is only a characteristic of Gothic novels. This characteristic is only a distinguishing feature of a Gothic novel that is expected to be found within the novel. The theme of community vs. individual is not only found within the novel but also defines the novel’s purpose and argument. A theme must consist of characteristics, and nature is a characteristic that particularly stands out. The element of nature is key in expressing the theme of community vs. individual within the Gothic novel Frankenstein. The framing story of Robert’s adventure to the North Pole is the first example of nature. Within the letters written between Robert and his sister he explains to his beloved his surroundings many times. “Inspirited by this wind of promise…” (1) Robert begins his journey alone with the prospect of finding companionship. As he sets out on his journey he does find this companionship and community. Later on in the letters he tells his sister that within his men he feels lonely but when Victor Frankenstein joins his community he feels not as alone. His companion soon begins his story and Robert realizes they are not so different after all, this is why the sense of community and bond is so strong between the two. Victor begins his tale and right off the bat we see the theme of community vs. individual, Victor’s mother had been brought up in a community until the deterioration of her father’s health lead to the pair retreating into solitude. Victor’s father had been a dear friend of Caroline’s father and had ventured out to find his friend. After her father died Caroline became his wife and they were, “Bestowed by heaven,” their son Victor. (19) This element of nature,…