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The warning trait of ambition is not inclined to be a dominant mannerism in horror novels implying the book may have philosophical reasoning. Another trait which is uncommon to horror books is that of a tragic hero – it is more likely to be found in a tragedy. Frankenstein is the perfect example of a tragic hero as like the stereotype he has an extremely happy and fulfilling childhood: “No human being … a happier childhood than myself. ” However the fatal flaw which leads to the downfall of the hero is also apparent in Frankenstein.
This imperfection in Frankenstein is ambition and this ultimately leads to the ruin of Frankenstein: “so much has been done … I will pioneer a new way”. The fatal flaw of ambition is like an “intoxicating draught” to Frankenstein, it takes over his life and gradually makes him lonely, irrational and obsessive. Once the fatal flaw has unbalanced and ruined him, Frankenstein is horrified that anyone else would have such ambitious desires: “Unhappy man do you share my madness”. Even when he has completed his aspiration Frankenstein does not feel fulfilled: “Now all was blasted … remorse and guilt”.
Frankenstein had succeeded but was not elevated. Since the creation of the monster Frankenstein is pessimistic which is another characteristic linked with hero’s in tragedy books. Inevitably for any hero who has the fatal flaw, it results in Frankenstein’s death. Another characteristic of a tragedy novel is multiple deaths, depicted by all the monster’s murdered victims. This message presented to the reader would not commonly be found in horror books either. The novel of Frankenstein also contains many religious implications, thus showing what can happen when an individual tries to play God.
The epic poem Paradise Lost by John Milton describes Satan’s fall from grace when he rebels against the authority of God. Frankenstein could also be likened to Satan as he also disputes God’s authority by discovering God’s greatest secret – how to make a living creature. Frankenstein’s monster also compares himself to Adam in the poem: “Like Adam… no link to any other being in existence. ” However unlike Adam he does not have the protection of his creator, Frankenstein is failing to comply with the duties of a creator and father figure to the monster: “I ought to be thy Adam”.
The neglect of the monster is quite ironic as Frankenstein himself enjoyed an extremely supportive up bringing. The setting of Frankenstein links it to Dante’s Inferno, which is a journey through hell, represented at different levels. The lowest level of hell, where Satan resides is freezing, the levels gradually get warmer until God is reached in heaven. Similar to this model when a disaster occurs, it happens in a cold place like the Arctic: “I endured misery… eternal sentiment of just retribution … immense rugged mountains of ice”. This furthers the link between Frankenstein and Satan who resides in the coldness of hell.
The religious meanings portrayed in the book are acting as a caution to the troubles which befall people who defy and try to imitate God. God is omnipotent so He would easily be able to banish people to hell like Satan, an event which was more feared in the early nineteenth century than it would be today. The immense diversity of Frankenstein makes it difficult for it to be placed in a genre. Although it does possess the typical fear-provoking element: “frightful must it be… supremely frightful” the book stretches past the limits of horror.
It is a warning to people to think about their actions and contemplate on how far they can take an ambition before it ruins their life. The relationship between Elizabeth and Frankenstein could practically allow the book to be classed as a romance. Principally I believe the book covers far too many moral issues for it to be classed as a horror story resulting in it being too philosophical to be placed in any genre. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.