The form of a text is the type of text you are reading. The form of Frankenstein is a novel – a long work of fiction. The genre of fiction to which Frankenstein belongs may be defined as Romantic or Gothic – two separate but linked genres.
Romanticism was a general movement in the arts (novels, poetry, paintings, music, etc) which occurred in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and reached its height around the time Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. Mary's parents, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, influenced many of the Romantic writers of the time and Mary herself was married to one of the movement's most famous poets, Percy Bysshe Shelley. The Romantics were concerned with:
Gothic fiction can be seen as the 'dark' side of the Romantic movement and would, a century later, become the backbone of Hollywood horror films - one of the first of which was a famous adaptation of Frankenstein. Although some of the key elements of a typical Gothic novel are not present in Frankenstein (there are no ghosts for instance) the atmosphere of the book is undoubtedly Gothic in tone. Some of the elements contributing to this are: