“How Does the Language in the Lady of the House of Love Conform to Gothic Literature?”

940 Words4 Pages
Language is a key element of The Lady of The House of Love which lends itself to the gothic genre. Through the endless connotations of light and dark, and the use of symbolism, Carter shapes a gothic short story by utilising key gothic conventions portrayed by the complex use of language. One way Carter uses language to not only reveal character but elicit gothic convention is through the description of the Countess; presented to us wearing "an antique bridal gown" trapped in a "chateau." The idea the Countess is wearing a bridal gown reiterates Miss. Havisham in Great Expectations; where the readers are introduced to a woman trapped in time, and unable to let go. Similarly, our female gothic protagonist is also associated with the theme of time coming to a halt; as she conducts the same routine every day- feast, sleep, feast. This is key in moulding itself into the gothic genre, as the protagonist is detached from civilisation, echoing her entrapment into the supernatural realm. The language here, conforms to gothic literature, as it fulfils the purpose of shocking the reader, instilling fear and poses questions such as "What next?" and therefore plays a large part in initiating the reader's anticipation- a key criteria of a gothic text. Carter uses the metaphor "her walls as black with tears of pearl" to describe setting in The Lady of the House of Love." Here, Carter clearly juxtaposes the two in order to create ambiguity- another clear gothic convention. Through contrasting the black walls against the tears of "pearl," Carter forms a duality within our gothic protagonist. As pearls are usually white, the contrasting of the two suggest that the Countess is suffering from multiple personalities, as seen in other gothic texts such as The Monk and Northanger Abbey. The different layers of the Countess are mirrored by her actions, shown to feel guilty after the
Open Document