A brief comparative study on three Gothic texts

Essay by bl4d3High School, 11th grade June 2007

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Compare and contrast Shelly’s Frankenstein, Whale’s Frankenstein, and one other text of your own choosing. In your essay, consider the Gothic features, ideas + values and context of these texts.

Selected Text: "The Nightmare before Christmas"The gothic genre exists even today with the purpose of frightening and horrifying; its features distinctly dark and apparent throughout most gothic texts. An enduring concern of gothic texts arises from universal conflicts of Good & Evil, Darkness & Light, Madness & Sanity and a range of other dualities which are clearly portrayed in each of the studied texts. Shelley’s 1831 novel Frankenstein, Whale’s 1931 Black and White film Frankenstein and Burton’s recent 1993 film musical “The Nightmare before Christmas” are all gothic texts written in different eras, but each of them is unique insofar as they are a response to a specific context and its ideas and features reflect that values and attitudes of that context.

Because they are conveyed through different types of mediums, each composer uses a range of techniques available in said medium to portray their text, resulting in varying techniques.

Shelley’s era was booming with technology as the industrial revolution had just begun. The steam engine had been discovered allowing for transport across the country. This new technology led people to question the moral grounds of the new technology towards which they were heading. Shelley’s novel is a result of this, where it questions the moral grounds of science. By doing so, she has aroused the question in many who have read the book at the time as it was a major concern. Whale’s film is a result of a Hollywood motion picture whereby the quality of the film was dependent solely on the amount it made at the box office. This accounts for the many differences it has with...