Gothic Characteristics Of Edgar Allan Poe’S

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Gothic Characteristics of Edgar Allan Poe’s ”The Black Cat” In this short essay I intend to collect the most important Gothic features of Poe’s short story, The Black Cat. However, the definition of the literary Gothic is not at all unified. Hence, I would like to discuss first the possible determinations which we can use in analyzing The Black Cat. The Gothic fiction is often defined by its stock devices and its use of a particular atmosphere for essentially psychological purposes. It attempts to immerse the reader in an extraordinary world in which ordinary standards and moral judgments become meaningless and good and evil are seen as inextricably intertwined. (Hume 282) The genre’s ”fascination with physical and psychological excremity, supernatural elements, and purported status set the pattern of the texts.” (Schmitt 4) ”Terror is the author’s principle engine and serves to grip and affect the reader.” (Hume 282) Besides the representation of extreme circumstances of terror, oppression and persecution, darkness and obscurity of setting, and innocence betrayed are also prominent features. (Lloyd-Smith 3) Gothic fiction is marked by an obsession with the macabre focusing on the mysterious and ineffable. (Schmitt 5) What is more, Gothic works are often centered in smaller numbers of characters, ultimately to operate within the consciousness of just one character (Fisher 73) Starting with the setting of The Black Cat, we can state that Poe broke with the European tradition (which I did not include in the previous section) and he pushed the charnel house elements of literary Gothic toward a fascination of with horror for its own sake. Poe senses the possibilities of urban Gothic. The urban landscape could serve as a modern version of the incomprehensible castle of the early Gothic. (Punter
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