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Transcript of Gothic Literature
"The front pattern does move - and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it!" (The Yellow Wallpaper)
"but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses–not destroyed–not dulled them." (The Tell-Tale Heart)
"Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me." (The Tell-Tale Heart)
"And, maddened with despair, so that he laughed loud and long, did Goodman Brown grasp his staff and set forth again." (Young Goodman Brown)
"Oh God! what could I do? I foamed-I raved-I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise...increased." (The Tell-Tale Heart)
"Again he filled their glasses with the liquor of youth, enough of which still remained in the vase to turn half the old people in the city to the age of their own grandchildren." (Dr. Heidegger's Experiment)
"'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!' ... Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore'" (The Raven)
"he stood with a book poised in his hand to throw, the rat squeaked and seemed afraid...'The Bible my mother gave me! What an odd coincidence!'" (The Judge's House)
"The eyes were of a peculiar brilliance...As he looked at them, Malcolmson grew cold, for he saw there the very counterpart of the eyes of the great rat." (The Judge's House)
"The shadow in the alcove at the end of the room began to display...a presence" (The Red Room)
"I did not see the candle go out, I simply turned and saw that darkness was there" (The Red Room)
Freedom and Confinement
"It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from conflagration." (The Black Cat)
"and am absolutely forbidden to "work" until I am well again." (The Yellow Wallpaper)
"It is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please!" (The Yellow Wallpaper)
"'Not in the Judge's House!' she said, and grew pale as she spoke." (The Judge's House)
"And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before" (The Raven)
"Young Goodman Brown caught hold of a tree for support, being ready to sink down on the ground, faint and overburdened with the heavy sickness of his heart." (Young Goodman Brown)
"That spoils my ghostliness, I am afraid; but I don't care - there is something strange about the house - I can feel it." (The Yellow Wallpaper)
"and lifting up my voice, screamed with all my might" (The Red Room)
Confidence & Naivety
"'But, my dear Mrs. Witham, indeed you need not be concerned about me!'" (The Judge's House)
"The old woman laughed harshly. 'Ah, you young gentlemen,' she said, 'you don't fear for naught;" (The Judge's House)
"'An old devil! The old devil, perhaps. There! sir, you needn't laugh,' for Malcolmson had broken into a hearty peal." (The Judge's House)
"'I can assure you,' said I, 'that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.'" (The Red Room)
"There is to my mind something inhuman in senility...the human qualities seem to drop from old people insensibly day by day." (The Red Room)
"Youth, like the extremity of age, had effaced the strongly marked characteristics of middle life...They were a group of merry youngsters, almost maddened with the exuberant frolicsomeness of their years." (Dr. Heidegger's Experiment)
"I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult." (The Tell-Tale Heart)
"For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore." (The Raven)
"Pluto–this was the cat's name–was my favorite pet and playmate" (The Black Cat)
"I was especially fond of animals...and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them" (The Black Cat)
Although there are many different story lines for Gothic novels, there are elements that are similar in each piece of writing. This is true for stories from many different time periods, including the classics like
and other modern Gothic novels that are set in the current time. Some of the common themes include love, insanity, and the supernatural. Life lessons can also be taught through Gothic stories, like how you should appreciate what you have instead of always wanting more.
We have decided to focus on the short stories we read in class, and chose quotes that are evidence of a theme found in the story. Most of these quotes do not actually state the theme in them, but instead, hint at or give the atmosphere of the element.
"He had the eye of a vulture...Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold;" (The Tell-Tale Heart)
"I soon found a dislike to it arising within me...these feelings of disgust and annoyance rose into the bitterness of hatred." (The Black Cat)
"The moodiness of my usual temper increased to hatred of all things and of all mankind" (The Black Cat)
There are many different themes and ideas about humanity that are explored and represented in Gothic literature. Some of the more common ones that we have discussed are love, hate, insanity, the supernatural, fear, and naivety. Some themes are more widespread throughout various works such as insanity and fear, as featured in "The Yellow Wallpaper," "Young Goodman Brown" and "The Tell -Tale Heart " amongst others. Less common elements, such as naivety and confidence, appear in stories such as "The Red Room" and "The Judge's House."
These are only a few of the wide range of themes found and explored in Gothic literature, but are the most common among the stories we have analyzed.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (author of "The Yellow Wallpaper)