What is the origin of the word “Gothic” and how/why did it come to be used for this style of literature? The word "Goth" originated from the barbaric, but the application of "Gothic" themes in literature was used to sort of rebel against the politics of that time and also to bring light to a dark fantasy that people were so fascinated with at the time. Based on your knowledge so far, what are the similarities between the novelists Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Bram Stoker? What are their differences? They have all penned novels during the era of Gothic Literature and the people who shaped the genre for many writers to come.
Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, has used a framing narrative in the opening letters of the novel, to help set up the major premise of the novel. Through the epistolary form it eases the reader into the story and adds a subplot that gives the main story texture and richness. This technique also focuses on the character parallels between Walton and Frankenstein, and how Walton foreshadows Frankenstein’s story. Many writers of the time wrote in the traditional romantic genre, however Shelley challenges this by writing in the gothic genre through the epistolary form and negative message she conveys through Victor of the dangers of romanticism. To force the reader to actively engage in the text, Shelley uses a fallible narrator unlike the traditional novel.
The Picture of Dorian Gray came at a time when the golden age of Gothic Fiction was already well passed. However the novel is seen as a revival of the gothic genre. It also redefined the elements of a gothic novel. It lacked the lovelorn heroine/hero that novels like The Mysteries of Udolpho (Anne Radcliffe) and Dracula (Bram Stoker) thrived on. The only love that is epitomized in the novel is that of the self, which proved to be perhaps its most gothic aspect.
In this essay I will be analysing and exploring how the use of gothic conventions influence the reader and convey Wilde’s themes of art, influence, beauty and youth through the supernatural, subconscious and conscious, and the use of a gothic villain. The Picture of Dorian Gray is Wilde’s only novel, exploring the interrelationship of art, life and consequence. Gothic literature started to become popular in the 1800s; an important and innovative reinterpreter of the Gothic in this period was Edgar Alan Poe and Robert Louis Stevenson. Gothic sprouted from the tradition of Romanticism especially in romantic poetry. Gothicism's origin started with the English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, then increasing with
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher”, are both excellent examples of Gothic literature and the elements which set this genre apart from others. Each author employs such Gothic elements as metonymy, mystery and suspense, and overwrought emotion to create pieces of writing that have affected the way we tell stories even to the present day. Metonymy is an element that affects the way the reader interprets the scene without knowing it. In Gothic literature, metonymy usually makes for much “doom and gloom.” Blowing winds, howls, moans, sighs, and eerie sounds are all entwined within Frankenstein, illustrating Shelley’s use of metonymy. All of these are used to subtly reference the overall air of darkness and horror apparent in the novel.
Redemption in British Literature Though Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, and Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, are novels written in the same era with radical stylistic and genre specific conventional differences, the two novels have quite a bit in common thematically. Both stories throw the reader into confusion at first, leaving them to slowly unravel the past of the characters, which makes the climax of each novel about redeeming their past transgressions, or the transgressions of others. Wuthering Heights is a gothic romance and seems like a response to the literature of Austen while Tale of Two Cities is more of a sentimental novel, meant to inspire feelings about the French Revolution and to describe human nature. These novels focus on groups of people who seem radically different, but there is the common theme of resurrection and redemption. Each novel approaches this theme according to its genre; so while Heathcliff and Cathy’s sins must be redeemed by the next generation, Carton must find redemption for his own life.
(Title) Edgar Allen Poe wrote his stories during the Romantic Literary movement. This movement began with the book published by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe titled “The Sorrows of Young Werther”. Authors during this time period (1770-1860) included Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Henry Longfellow. Yet one author who was the most prominent at this time was Edgar Allen Poe. Poe’s writing style demonstrated the knowledge of the human mind, the fears that haunt human being, and the work of literary genius.
“…a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century, characterized chiefly by a reaction against neoclassicism and an emphasis on the imagination and emotions, and marked especially in English literature by sensibility and the use of autobiographical material, an exaltation of the primitive and the common man, an appreciation of external nature, an interest in the remote, a predilection for melancholy, and the use in poetry of older verse forms…” (marriam-webster.com). It is from this basic definition of Romanticism that one can begin to distill the essence of it to the core aspects that Benjamin Franklin was beginning to develop and demonstrate in his time. Romantics wished to focus upon the self in regards to nature and their own human condition. They wanted to free their minds and, in a sense, become enlightened. They wished to explore the facets of their own world by improving themselves and become more than what they were.
Reason and enlightenment played a dominant role during the period of the age of reason. Satirical and skeptical were the mode of their writing style. Emotions, feelings, instinct and idealism are key for the writer those emerged during the Romantic and Gothic period in American literature. Imagination and autobiographical elements dominate in the works whereas supernatural elements are blended in the works of the Dark Romantics. Autonomy and individualism are given preference by the transcendentalists.
In postmodern literature this commonly manifests as references to fairy tales – as in works by Margaret Atwood, Donald Barthelme, and many other – or in references to popular genres such as sci-fi and detective fiction. An 19th century example of intertextuality which influenced later postmodernists is "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" by Jorge Luis Borges, a story with significant references to Don Quixote which is also a good example of intertextuality with its references to Medieval romances. People have lost faith in the metanarratives of the past and Lyotard sees social life being organized around language games, which serve to justify people s behavior in