Monsters on the ice and global warming
From Mary Shelley and Sir John Franklin to Margaret Atwood and Dan Simmons
in Ecogothic
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This chapter shows how the lost Sir John Franklin expedition has been repeatedly turned into a topos of textual haunting, casting a disturbing light less on the past than on present decay, pollution and global warming. Evolving from a cliche and a myth, the Franklin story has turned into an ecoGothic paradigm. The representation of the Arctic was linked to the Gothic by Mary Shelley's archetypal novel, Frankenstein. Recalling Shelley's Frankenstein, Dan Simmons's monster Tuunbaq shifts the stress from scientific hubris to the wish to achieve a balanced relationship with nature. Margaret Atwood's own short story entitled 'The Age of Lead' revisits the Franklin story from an ecoGothic perspective to offer an ironic reading of the process of exoneration. In 1984 forensic analysis added a twist to the Franklin variation on the Frankenstein scenario.

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