Essay The Role of Horror in the Gothic Writing

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English literature in the Romantic period can be characterised as emphasising on free and natural utterance of authors’ feelings as the reaction toward the world. Romantic authors stress on the influence of feelings over rationality and mind over body—they admire the potential power of human’s mind to engage in the external world emotionally, reflect on it and envisage a spiritual and idealistic one through imagination. In Gothic writing, an important genre in Romantic literature, authors try to evoke readers’ fear and anxiety, cultivate their sensibility and explore human’s mind through presenting horrible myths and supernatural. Horror, as a highly pertinent element in Gothic writing, plays an important role in stimulating readers and …show more content…
In the following passage, I would like to discuss the role of horror in Marry Shelley’s Frankenstein and Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.

Concerning Frankenstein, horror is embodied in the birth of a monster, which is created by Victor Frankenstein, the main character of the novel, and keeps haunting him throughout the story. Mary Shelley arranges Frankenstein to be the creator of his own horror. By giving birth to this monster, Frankenstein releases the hidden destructive power within his mind. This power originates in his subconscious and is personified in a monstrous figure. In other words, horror is the product of human mind. For instance, Frankenstein intends to create a being with “many happy and excellent natures” (Shelley 52), but this being turns out to be ugly and evil. This indicates that Frankenstein does not know his experiment will lead to such a disaster and this monster is entirely a product of subconscious which cannot be rationally controlled. While the monster is coming to life, Frankenstein is growing weak and eventually faints. This depiction of the birth of the monster is similar to the process of women’s parturition, meaning that although the monster is made up of materials, he, as the source and symbol of Frankenstein’s horror, is

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