Three Gothic Novels: Frankenstein, Carmilla, Dracula

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A Gothic novel calls forth paradoxically thrilling feelings of horror and pleasure in the reader. These “dark” novels feature fictitious prose saturated with mysterious adventures, supernatural horrors, fantasy, and mysticism. Family curses, vampires, ghosts, and monsters frequently appear within the storylines. Gothic novels originated in 18th century England and are the precursors to the modern “horror” genre. Often the story is set in an old castle or building that had been built in the Gothic style. Thus, the name of the genre derives from the story's backdrop, which features prominently in the mood and action of the story. Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus tells about the life and studies of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who manages to harness the mystery of life and transform dead flesh into a living man. The man, however, is a monster and begins to pursue his creator. Dracula is a novel that has greatly impacted modern culture. It can be said to be the mother of the vampire genre of prose and television serials that are so popular in the 21st century. Carmilla is another vampire novel that, while lesser-known, was one of the first popular gothic novels to feature vampires. In it, the young Laura tries to fend off the predatory and romantic advances of a female vampire. Contents: 1. Mary W. Shelley: Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus 2. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Carmilla 3. Bram Stoker: Dracula
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