The Role of Suspense and Foreshadowing in the Novel Frankenstein

High school
Pages 4 (1004 words)
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Mary Shelley grew up with a self-righteous and repressive father, no mother, and a nasty stepmother. Not coincidentally, her novel is void of mothers, but full of sentiments about the nature of parenting. Her protagonist, who is both mother and father to the monster he has created, fails miserably at both, abandoning his "child," despite the fact that in his own family, he has wonderful examples of caretaking and commitment.


The typical gothic plot tends to delay narrative development through digressions, interruptions, infolded tales, interpolated poems, etc. which move the narrative backwards as well as forwards and Frankenstein is no exception to this. The novel's structure of framed and embedded narratives (for example, Walton narrative and that of the De Lacey family) act as diversions from the main narrative told by Frankenstein, a delay that serves to increase suspense and tension.
Marry Shelly's use of Foreshadowing in Frankenstein creates a literary taste in the novel. "But I forget I am moralizing in the most interesting part of my tale; and your looks remind me to proceed" (Baldick, 1997, pp. 45-59). Foreshadowing is an important part of Frankenstein. It is used to increase suspense because as a readers go through novel the foreshadowing is revealing them that something bad is about to happen and it is their job to go after the clues and try to guess what it is. Throughout the novel, as we observe that the three main narrators (Victor, the Monster, and Walter) use foreshadowing. Each of the narrators uses foreshadowing in a diverse and different way. ...
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