Frankenstein and Interview with the Vampire
The gothic horror genre attempts to make the reader/viewer feel a sense of dread, fear, terror, disgust or horror. ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley and ‘Interview with the vampire’ by Neil Jordan both explore the elements which compliment the Gothic Horror Genre.
Major elements that are constant throughout the two texts are the constant search for knowledge which can be dangerous if in the wrong hands which can lead to supernatural or inexplicable events, omens or visions occurring, Humanity and the continuous quest to find what it means to be human touching on the idea of life after death, Isolation and the want for companionship, the responsibility of actions and the consequences, wanderers and the idea that women are often shown to be in distress.
In the novel ‘Frankenstein’, Victor Frankenstein’s obsession to know more and more about life, how it is created and others who have quested to do the same such as the Ancient Mariner have eventually lead him to the creation of the his own human which was a supernatural event.
In this case has also created a disaster due to the constant search for knowledge turning Frankenstein insane and dangerous. After creating the creation Victor saw it as a mistake. ‘I had finished, the beauty of my dream vanished breathless horror and disgust filled my heart’.
Later in the book Victor preaches to Walton ‘You search for knowledge as I once did…’ ‘… I hope it does not sting you as it once did me’ Shelley used Emotional Language to express Frankenstein’s horror and disgust in what he has done and creates a sense of forgiveness and pity for Frankenstein. ‘Interview with the Vampire’ a film, demonstrates the same concept of the constant search for knowledge, which leads to a downfall. Louis has always longed to leave his life, as he was never satisfied with the life he was living and has always been curious about vampires and life after death. I longed to be released from it. I wanted to lose it all…’ ‘… My invitation was open to anyone…’ ‘… But it was the vampire that accepted’. This quote shows Louis relentless longing to leave the life he currently is in. This curiousness for answers to life and the unknown leads Louis to the choice to become a vampire. Louis accepts not realising that becoming a new person/vampire does not erase the feelings of a human only makes them worse because he is now locked in a life of evil with no way out.
Hubris is a technique that Jordan uses to show Louis fatal flaw of searching for something new to end his current life, by becoming a vampire Louis for fills this temporarily but eventually finds there is no way out and is worse off that before. This gives the reader pity and sorrow towards Louis. Both composers have explored the theme of Humanity and the continuous quest to find out what it means to be human, touching on the idea of life after death. In ‘Frankenstein’ Victor is faced with the decision to free Justine from death.
In order to do this he must confess that the creature he created in actual fact was the murderer of poor little William and risk his dignity and pride throughout the town ‘…horror would be looked upon as madness by the vulgar’ or remain a trusted and honoured member of the community and let an innocent human die for his own dignity. This question that he was forced to ask him self is also another way to ask the question of ‘what it means to be human? ’. Victor chooses to keep this valuable information to himself and lets Justine die.
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