English, Department of




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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Stephen Behrendt. Lincoln, NE: March 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Karen N. Wohlgemuth


The Early Gothic Period of English Literature was widely scrutinized for its sensationalism. This thesis explores the value of the genre by offering an alternative view of the monster typically portrayed. A close textual analysis of The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Monk, and Frankenstein prove that the real monster is society, and more importantly ourselves. While this thesis dissects the innate characteristics of humankind in the novels, the author hopes that the readers will recognize the same themes in contemporary society. As students of the learned world, we all can acknowledge that Gothic fiction can teach us more than we ever thought we could learn.