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Gothic Literature

Read 180: Flex Reading Workshop 3

Natalie Hotary

on 29 November 2017

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Transcript of Gothic Literature

Gothic Literature
A Timeless Genre
The name comes from the Goths, a Germanic tribe who invaded the Romans.
In the 17th century, the English called Barbarians
In the 18th century, it was considered an alternate/new way of creating beauty and art.
Horace Walpole wrote the first Gothic novel:
The Castle of Otranto
in 1765.
What is Gothic Literature?
A type of literature that forces people to deal with societal problems by exposure or shock.
A story that deals with supernatural elements and themes that are considered forbidden.
Gothic Fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extenstion of Romantic literary pleasures.
Purpose of Gothic Literature
To confront social problems and ideas normally considered "taboo."
Usually tells a story of social, political, or scientific error and offers solutions.
Elements of Gothic Literature
Supernatural elements: ghosts, spirits, etc.
Forbidden themes: death, curses, secrets, and murder
Gothic Setting
Supernatural Elements
Prophesy and Mystery
a feeling of fear pervades the story.
Plot often revolves around a mystery.
Prophecies, omens and supernatural events influence the mystery.
More About Setting
Setting may be abandoned and usually contains secret passages, trap doors, secret rooms, dark staircases, and/or ruined sections.
There is usually an obscure or partial prophecy connected to the setting or the people that are there.
How many settings can you name from movies that fit this description?
characters become overcome with anger, sorrow, surprise, and terror.
suffer from raw nerves.
crying, emotional speeches, and panic are common.
Women in Distress
Women are often portrayed as weak characters in early Gothic novels.
Women often end up fainting, terrified, screaming, or sobbing (sometimes all at once).
The heroine is often lonely, pensive, or oppressed, so her suffering is the focus of attention.
powerful love
uncertainity of reciprocation
unreturned love
tension between true love and father's control
lovers parted
illicit love threatens the virtuous one
rival lovers or multiple suitors
Gothic literature focuses on fear being created, and a sense of suspense
There is very little actual bloodshed, it's NOT about the GORE factor, but the SCARE factor.
Essential Question:
What is Gothic Fiction?
Why the heck do people like scary movies? Why are they entertaining?
Opening Question
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL6 Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
What traits do you think define Gothic literature: Describe or list what you see in these clips
Gothic Literature
Gothic hero
becomes a sort of archetype as we find that there is a pattern to his characterization. There is always the
, usually isolated either voluntarily or involuntarily. Then there is the
, who is the epitome of evil, either by his (usually a man) own fall from grace, or by some implicit malevolence. The
, found in many Gothic tales, is the epitome of isolation as he wanders the earth in perpetual exile, usually a form of divine punishment.

Gothic fiction (sometimes referred to as Gothic horror) is a genre or type of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. It began as a subset of ROMANTICISM.
December 16, 2014
Do Now:
What do you already know about poems?
I know that poems ____________________.
Also, I know poems ____________________.
Reading Purpose:

Let's find out who the shadow watcher is.

Be prepared to discuss whom you think the speaker is talking about when he describes, "people who pretend to be people"
R Book 76
Active Reading
Anchor Video
(Read 180 Audio)
Respond to the React and Write question about whether or not you feel one way and act another and why.
Archetypal Characters
The END!!

Now watch the following clip and write down as many Gothic elements as you can for discussion at the end of class.

The clip is from The Lord of the Rings
Typical Gothic Literature Characteristics
Physical decay, skulls, cemeteries, and other images of death, ghosts, revenge, family curses, torture, the Doppelganger (evil twin or double), possession, masking/shape-changing, black magic, re-birth or re-animation, and madness.
Often, setting is in a mysterious location, like a castle, cathedral, cave, or forest.

Action tends to take place at night, or at least in a claustrophobic, sunless environment.

There will usually be an ascent (up a mountain high staircase) or a descent (into a dungeon, cave, underground chambers or labyrinth) to increase separation from the outside society/world.
Full transcript