Jump to navigation
The limits of the romantic aesthetic in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Aguillon, Erica B.
In this thesis I examine Mary Shelley?s departure from the Romantic tradition in order to reflect of the failure of Nature to inspire tranquility, in the context of the growing concern with urban menace picked up in the works of her father, William Godwin, and his contemporary, Thomas Holcroft. At the heart of this project is a conversation between Shelley and her contemporaries regarding both the limits of the Romantic aesthetic and shifting attitudes towards the city. Tracing these anxieties to the fears generated by the Gordon Riots and the French Revolution, I argue that sublime Nature, in the tradition of William Wordsworth, is unable to contain the evils unleashed by metropolitan horrors, ultimately suggesting that Shelley?s novel inaugurates the Gothic shift from the rural castles of Walpole and Radcliffe to the urban streets of Stevenson and Stoker.
English and Comparative Literature
Arts and Letters
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2011
© 2015 SDSU Library & Information Access. All Rights Reserved.