Insanity could be defined as “the state of being mentally ill; madness”, thus it is no surprise that writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and D. H. Lawrence beauteously integrated aspects of insanity into their stories in order to chisel the perfect piece of gothic literature, simultaneously luring the reader in to a world carved by madness and drowned in an eerie atmosphere. Portraying one as insane is a powerful gothic literary device that has been used throughout the era of the gothic, notably in Matthew Lewis' “The Monk” and Horace Walpole’s “The Castle of Otranto”. One way in which writers complement and enhance the insanity of their sadistic characters is through the psychological and mental torture that is often inflicted upon the victims
Brahm Stoker’s “Dracula” highlights concerns prevalent within the Victorian era, shown through characters, symbols and themes throughout the novel. Prior to this, Samuel Taylor Coleridge worked within the Romantic era absorbing a multitude of radical political and theological ideas, ideas which often underpinned his works. Coleridge’s “Christabel” confronts concerns surrounding universal human characteristics, particularly those most prominent within his era, such as female purity and innocence. In contrast to these more traditional beliefs, “Blood; The Last Vampire” articulates anxieties surrounding the breakdown of a society and the repercussions of this in relation to a younger, more contemporary society. The “dark side’ within these texts are often projected through a singular symbol, character or theme that is unaccepted or feared by its surrounding society.
She does this by dissecting the humanistic view of a monster and what kind of characteristics a creature needs to posses in order to be defined as a monster. Halberstam begins the chapter with a section entitled “Monster Making,” Halberstam suggests that it’s important to rethink the Gothic genre and look at the making of a human being before analyzing the making of a monster (28). Halberstam picks apart the true meaning of monstrosity and what or who actually scares humans (28). She suggests that Mary Shelley’s novel really implies that people are afraid of people because humans are supposedly the depicters of what is good and what is evil (28). Halberstam infers to keep an open mind to what really is the object of terror (28).
Analysis of Hamlet using this criticism reveals the mental states of the characters, especially Hamlet. Hamlet’s sanity, or insanity, is undoubtedly one of the most argued discussions in literature, but the psychoanalytic criticism proves one undeniable matter. Hamlet suffers from an Oedipus complex. Hamlet and Oedipus from Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, have striking similarities which augment Hamlet’s Oedipus complex. The Oedipus complex is a psychoanalytic theory which encompasses the idea of unconsciously desiring the parent of the opposite sex, while desiring to eliminate the parent of the same sex.
It shows that both stories handle the subject of growing madness, however, in Poe’s story, the madness surrounds all characters, whereas in Gilman’s story the narrator is the one who is the victim of the madness. In addition, Poe’s story is utterly a fantastical story and does not improve the inner state of the characters as Gilman does, yet Gilman’s story includes the elements of realism and madness. Main Idea 1: In Poe’s story, the environment affects the sensibilities of the narrator and leads him to go mad. The mysterious appearance of the house and the darkness and gloom of autumn affect the narrator and make him uneasy about the house. -“During the whole of a dull, dark and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher’’ (Poe 88).
How does Robert Louis Stevenson explore duality in human nature in Jekyll and Hyde? This essay is to explain how Robert Louis Stevenson explores the duality of human nature through the use of characters of interest other than Jekyll and Hyde, the structure of the book and Stevenson’s lasting moral message of Good vs. Evil. Other characters of interest in the book include Mr Utterson, whose rationality and values blind him from seeing the answer, even when he hears Hyde’s voice in the place of Jekyll. There is also Dr Lanyon, who is seen to be completely opposed to the science of Jekyll but loses his Victorian values to his curiosity when Jekyll reveals his secret.
Such as the works of Edgar Allan Poe darkness of his pieces are in unity with his inner being. The suspenseful and ominous style of “The Pit and the Pendulum” and Poe’s poem “The Lake”, both show the usage of sensory images. Being the “father” of horror stories, Poe’s aids his readers through the power of descriptive writing, grasping their attention with rich sensory imagery that conveys the writer’s emotions. One of Poe’s greatest stories that tricks and strikes terror in our hearts is “The Pit and the Pendulum”. Poe wanted the readers to feel the terror and horror that the narrator felt.
Alienation among many throughout Nathaniel Hawthone’s The Scarlet Letter, the main characters suffer psychological damage as a result of different forms of alienation. The character traits they posses make them more susceptible to certain types of alienation. Since Dimmesdale cannot reveal his secret to anyone, he can not share his pain. All the pent up guilt he has stored with in eats away at him, slowly deteriorating his body and soul. Dimmesdale’s masochistic and pious attributes greatly contribute to the extent of his alienation.
Nothing to Fear, but Fear Itself Fear can destroy people. Many are driven crazy by fear and are pushed to the brinks of insanity. Those who are put in situations of panic, where even a character’s surroundings are instigating fear, can find themselves in compromising positions. Edgar Allan Poe’s stories “The Black Cat” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” are two prime examples of stories where fear moves the plot along, as it transforms its characters. Poe explores the darkest depths of the human mind and exploits his characters’ fear of themselves, and while these accounts have ready supplies of fear, they convey these apprehensions in different ways.
I dreaded the first glance at objects around me. It was not that I feared to look upon things horrible, but that I grew aghast lest there should be NOTHING to see. At length, with a wild desperation at heart, I quickly unclosed my eyes. My worst thoughts, then, were confirmed.”(59-64) This is an example of sensualism because the narrator is just waking up and in a groggy state of mind. An example of sensationalism would be when they take the narrator into a torture chamber because its over the top and in a gothic excessive nature.