Both these novels are typically gothic horror and share those typical characteristics. Gothic horror is a type of text most popular between 1760-1028 (when both texts where written. ) Its popularity has had a considerable influence in fictional, novels short stories and films of this period. Both texts I have been analysing share characteristics of a gothic horror genre. Both novels use characteristics such as science, religion, superstition/ supernatural, punctuation and the Gothic Horror.
Shelley and Stoker wrote their novels in the nineteenth century, a century full of people who seemed to have been obsessed with the Gothic tradition and the supernatural. Many authors were inspired to write great horror stories during this time, so the Gothic tradition is reflected in their work and used as a device to build tension, suspense and fear within the reader’s mind. Both texts share similar and different characteristics of the gothic horror genre. As with all horror stories there is a degree of superstition and the supernatural. This is not a major feature within Frankenstein, but Shelley does suggest things through symbolism.
When Frankenstein first gets the idea of toying with nature, Shelley indicates the consequences of this. Frankenstein thus witnesses, “…. a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak… I never beheld anything so utterly destroyed… ” symbolising his future, a moral statement, showing that although you are able to create life through electricity and science, it is equally as easy to destroy it by the same means His thoughts of reincarnation are developed, and so his life shall be destroyed. Dracula’s roots lie in superstition and the supernatural.
Within chapter one of the novel, Jonathan notices blue flames on both sides of the coach. It is indicated that the flames are what is known as the will-o-the-wisp. Superstition shows that a will-o-the-wisp usually appears on burial mounds. The number of blue flames increase as the coach draws closer to Castle Dracula, suggesting that something is going to happen when Jonathan reaches the castle. Many Gothic descriptions and ideas are expressed vividly within chapter one of Dracula. As Jonathan travels towards Castle Dracula, there are many descriptions of the surrounding countryside. The countryside is seen by Jonathan as being, “…
deep blue and purple in the shadows… and an endless perspective of jagged rock and pointed crags”. This is a device used in order to suggest what is to happen later on. Gothic novelists, often to suggest darkness and death, mainly use the colours of blue and purple. When Jonathan first meets Dracula at his castle he describes his hand as “more like the hand of a dead than a living man. ” This is arguably an example of dramatic irony because the reader, unlike Jonathan, is aware that Dracula is deceased and in a state of living dead. Jonathan fleeing from the place shows his fear therefore reflecting fear to the reader.