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The Gothic

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Jennifer Vo

on 18 July 2014

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Transcript of The Gothic

A shift in gender roles
Treatment towards the supernatural
The Gothic: A brief summary
Alice in Wonderland? A Gothic?
Gothic Themes and Foci
The Gothic Genre
You can start clapping now
A modern Interpretation
Alice In Wonderland
Gothic Art
Gothic Architecture
Gothic Literature
Gothic Fiction:
Gothic fiction, sometimes referred to as "Gothic horror", is a genre or mode of literature that combines fiction, horror and Romanticism. Gothic literature pictures the human condition as an ambiguous mixture of good and evil powers that cannot be understood completely by human reason. During the era of the Gothic rebirth, novels often challenged Victorian morality*.

*Vicotiran Morality:
"Victorian morality" can describe any set of values that espouse sexual restraint, low tolerance of crime and a strict social code of conduct.
- Darkness as intrinsic to humanity
- The sublime, supernatural, slightlly ecentric sometimes subtly intermingled with the realistic
- A liking to the strangely eccentric, the supernatural, the magical, and the sublime, sometimes subtly intermingled with the realistic
- The outsider
- Hero/heroine's fall from grace
- Character/s questioning their sanity
- Supernatural and natrual worlds in tension
- Decay
- Imprisonment
- Look-alikes
- Irresistible fate
- Melancholy
Gothic Conventions
- The pursued protagonist
- Blood
- Dreams/ Visions/Nightmares
- Demons/Devils/Angels
- Monster/Satanic Hero/Fallen men
- Madness/Madness/ Characters questioning their sanity
- Often fainting maiden
- Possession
- The explained supernatural
- A naive protagonist
- Depressing weather
: Dark clouds -> Gloomy
Fog -> Mystery
: Dark, shadows

Gothic Architecture
: The red queens castle = twisted Victorian style. Also elements of the sinister, when we see the bobbing ceramic faces in the water surrounding the castle.
- Weather
- A naive protagonist
- Tension between the supernatural and natural worlds
- Recurring dreams
- Blood (represented through the colour red)
- The explained supernatural
- Anti-hero
- Heroic tragedy
- Darkness as intrinsic to humanity
- Insanity
- Imprisonment
- The imaginary vs. reality
- Melancholy
- Decay
- Irresistible fate
- Jealousy
- Look-alikes
- Loveless marriage
- Dark side of human nature
Themes and Motifs
Heroine: Alice
Villain: The Red Queen
Alice's fall from grace
The female hero and villain.
The Red Queen
Alice Kingsley
What is a Byronic Hero?

Traditional Romantic Heroes tend to be defined by:
- Their rejection or questioning of standard social conventions and norms of behavior
- Their alienation from larger society
- Their ability to inspire others to commit acts of good and kindness.

Romantic Heroes
are not idealized heroes but
imperfect and often flawed heroes
who, despite their sometimes less than savory personalities, often behave in a heroic manner.

Byronic Hero
Familiarising ourselves with the Disney version of the story, we know that Alice is originally a child and ventures down to wonderland where she first encounters wonderlands inhabitants.
Lewis Carrol
Tim Burton
Darkness intrinsic to human nature
Characters in underland are representations of people in the "real" world. Because everything in Underland is insane, characters from underland may represent the darker more twisted and insane side to people in the real world and human nature.
Alice is seen to be
in Underland, but also by society in the real world (because she her thoughts and beliefs are "different" and her freedom of thought is incapacitated by society's standards and expectations).
1. Shift in Gender Roles

2. Treatment towards the supernatural

3. Treatment towards the Byronic Hero and irresistible fate
In traditional Gothic literature, the role of the hero/protagonist is often always played by a (sometimes naive) male figure, evident in "The picture of Dorian Gray" where the protagonist, Dorian Gray, plays the role of both the Satanic Hero. This trend corresponds with the role of the villain seen through Bram Stoker's Dracula where Count Dracula is portrayed as the demonic bad guy. Unless the text included succubi, witches or female spirits, women are often portrayed in Gothic literature as the beautiful, faint hearted, often fainting figure who is victimised by succumbing to sexual desire or the sort, as seen through Lucy in Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Why this happened?
In modern society, we have witnessed a gradual yet significantly phenomenal shift in gender equality since the Victorian era. Women suffrage was established throughout Australia in 1902 and alongside this women now make a great contribution to the workforce worldwide. This new perception of the woman now makes a great contribution to who characters are and how they behave within texts of the current era.
Treatment toward the supernatural
Alice's recurring dreams of being in wonderland leads her into believing her falling down the rabbit hole and following experience in Underland to be a figure of her subconscious imagination. From the moment she falls down the rabbit hole she is stubbornly convinced that she is dreaming and that her surroundings and its supernatural inhabitants aren't real.
Alongside changes in gender roles, we have witnessed a great revolution in technological and scientific advancements in society. Through scientific and technological advancements mankind has never before been more influenced by science and technology as it has today. A result of this, in relation to the Gothic, is the diminishing belief in the supernatural as gradually more and more mysteries are being solved and thus there is now a rational and scientific understanding towards everything and thus very few things are to be feared
Why this may have happened
There is tension between the supernatural, Underland, and the natural, Alice and her common sense, which is evidently shown as Alice struggles to make sense of Underland's insane inhabitants and thus she tries to "explain the supernatural" by claiming everything to be a dream.
A similar occurrence is shown in Dracula when we witness Lucy's possessed somnambulism and her later believing all the events happening in the night is merely a dream.
Alice the byronic hero?

Alice is portrayed as the Byronic Hero seen through her unique and peculiar character throughout the story. We witness her challenging the standards and expectations of both societies, the Victorian society (real world) and Underland (imagination), her rebellious nature in both societies presents her under an anti hero light, thus making her an outsider.
Irresistible fate
We also witness Alice as a prisoner of both real and imaginary societies as she is unable to escape both her irresistible fates, to marry Hamish in the real world and slay the jaberwacky in Underland, both expectations she refuses to live up to. It isn't until she accepts her fates and "play by society's rules" could she win, escape Underland and refuse Hamish's hand in marriage thus allowing her freedom.
We witness something similar in The Picture of Dorian Gray, where we witness the naive yet beautiful and loving protagonist evolve into a satanic hero, the result of the protagonist's fall from grace. In Alice in wonderland we see the reverse of that.
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