Frankenstein Essay

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In the following excerpt, noted American novelist, educator, and critic Oates explores literary influences on Shelley's Frankenstein and comments on various stylistic and thematic aspects of the work.

Quite apart from its enduring celebrity, and its proliferation in numberless extra-literary forms, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a remarkable work A novel sui generis, if a novel at all, it is a unique blending of Gothic, fabulist, allegorical, and philosophical materials Though certainly one of the most calculated and willed of fantasies, being in large part a kind of gloss upon or rejoinder to John Milton's Paradise Lost, Frankenstein is fueled by the kind of grotesque, faintly absurd, and wildly inventive images that spring direct from the unconscious: the eight-foot creature designed to be "beautiful," who turns out almost indescribably repulsive (yellow-skinned, shriveled of countenance, with straight black lips and near-colorless eyes); the cherished cousin-bride who is beautiful...

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This section contains 2,245 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Frankenstein Study Guide
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Frankenstein from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.