Gothic literature is designed to terrify and horrify people in a pleasurable way. The plots are meant to border the lines of reality. Gothic literature also has settings filled with dark and twisted structures. 4. What are at least two common mental disorders one might find in Gothic stories?
The features of Gothic fiction are both psychological and physical. They tend to play with a person’s mind and psyche. The features that can be found in Gothic fiction are supernatural features such as ghost, secrets and curses passed down over generations. Architecture plays a large role in Gothic fiction. It is the haunted houses, castles, and medieval gardens.
With his tale of corrupt patriarchy filled with mystery, romance, and tragedy, Horace Walpole bridged the gap between the wantonly romantic and the excessively realistic (Scott 11); filling the space with dark settings, stark characters and tangled narratives. It was the sum of all these parts that became the formula that is still followed today by writers of the genre. This essay will outline various elements of the typical gothic novel, and the way in which they are associated with excess in the themes, characterisation, and style of writing. In doing so, the differences in the techniques used in Walpole’s novel Castle of Otranto, and M.R James’s short story Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad, will be identified and discussed. The primary objective of Gothic novelists is to rouse the reader into eliciting emotional responses such as shock or fear (Hume 284).
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 gothic genre has based itself upon refining concepts explored in genres such as horror and taking those notions to newer and more developed standards. Originally part of the Romantic Movement, the gothic genre advocates a connection to the use of supernatural themes, bleak remote landscapes, violent weather and dim, secret places where evil can often occur. Characteristics such as “the use of supernatural in the gothic”, “Gothic settings” and “Gothic Horror” make this genre unique in comparison to regular common genres and texts such as Rebecca and The Others show the variety displayed across the board throughout different gothic text types. Another gothic convention present in the 2 texts is “Gothic settings”. This is evident in the opening chapter of Rebecca where the narrator describes Manderley upon revisiting it in her dreams as “Unkept” and as if “nature had come into her own.” With the use of a metaphor to state “the site itself, was a jewel” we begin to understand how grand and majestic this amazing house is, and we are helped to picture a perfect place that is now overwhelmed with nature.
Consequently, the young heroine finds herself involved in many embarrassing situations throughout the novel. However, as the story goes on, Catherine eventually learns to distinguish between fantasy and reality and between her own wild imaginings and her intuition. Northanger Abbey has long been considered an ironic parody of the Gothic novel, which was very popular in Austen’s time. The purpose of this essay is to explore the elements of the Gothic novel present in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and to analyze the way in which they have been satirized by the author. Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey: a Gothic Parody The Gothic fiction is a literary genre that combines elements of both horror and romance.
The main theme of marry Shelly’s Frankenstein is Gothicism. Within marry Shelly’s novel Frankenstein we see elements of gothic and the supernatural, sometimes represented through the grotesque. The gothic supernatural is described as being real and disturbing according to Linda Bayer. In fact it can be described as simply being something we are used to and implementing it in the world around us making it more immediate, more believable. Within this theme we see the reoccurring element of gothic villains where “the exaggeration of just one aspect of the beautiful can produce the hideous,” (Bayer 80) in this case it is literal and can be applied to the monster where this is achieved with “combinations of the normal or even beautiful through an unexpected fusion of different realms.
I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. (Poe 272) In this excerpt the narrator describes his decline into alcoholism and how it affects him and those around him, especially his wife. He states how he could only think to use heated words towards his wife and even go as far as to assault her, while she quietly accepts the situation as if it were inevitable. Contrary to “The Black Cat”, this type of role almost flips between man and woman in “The Lady or the Tiger” where in fact it is the man whose life solely depends on the decisions made by his lover, such as when he looks for guidance in which door to open.
In the most important aspects of Frankenstein; Frankenstein is compelling in and of itself. This book has stories that surround other stories, setting them up in one way or another. Frankenstein is a gothic novel that focuses on mysterious or supernatural features. It takes place in dark, often exotic settings. Readers feel uneasy and in terror after reading the novel.
This stark contrast created by the entry of the three witches embodies the concept of there being a cataclysmic conflict between the sinister prophecy of the witches and how this clashes with the Divine Order. This example of external conflict is further emphasised by the second witch’s statement: “when one side has lost and the other has won.” Thus Shakespeare wishes to present the dichotomy between good and evil where evil is symbolised by the supernatural witches and good, the manifestation of fate, is depicted by the Divine right and its specification of the chain of beings. Moreover, Shakespeare dares the audience to contemplate whether or not free will or choice, actually exist. Some critics advocate the theory that the external conflict is between the artificial prophecy and how Macbeth tries to rejuvenate it, and Divine Right. Thus, Macbeth’s tragic demise is considered by many prominent critics such as M. C .