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American Gothic Literature

Connecting to Romanticism movement, Gothic literature was used to express fears and emotional connection to ideas that plague the individual. Use this Prezi to learn more about the elements that make up the Gothic writing style.

Katie Larson

on 14 November 2016

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Transcript of American Gothic Literature

Learning Target 1:
Short story writers use ALLEGORY to underscore themes.

is a
figure of speech
in which
abstract ideas and principles are described in terms of characters, figures and events.
it is used to
tell a story with a purpose of teaching an idea and a principle
explaining an idea or a principle.
of its use is
to preach some kind of a moral lesson.
How does it function:
-adds different layers of meanings to a work.
-makes stories and characters multidimensional, so that they stand for something larger in meaning than what they literally stand for.
Watch the following for other
literary examples of Allegory
Learning Target 2:
Writers use gloomy settings to create suspense.

Learning Target 4:
Short story writers use single effect to heighten the emotional effect of the text for the reader.

Includes creatures of the night
Symbolizes the unknown, creatures that could haunt or hurt the humans of the story.
-These creatures are usually associated with the main character in some way.
Connects to the subjects often times presented in Gothic tales--insanity, death, destruction of man due to choices made, sickness, etc.
The main characters
Evil scientists
The Devil
Grim Reaper
Americanization of setting
-The story often times takes place in the wilderness--the dark short cut
-Dark desolate lands where no one would venture alone
-Decaying or abandoned estates (look like castles)
-Large houses with secret passages
Elements of Gothic Architecture
-setting includes castles, gargoyles, steeples, towers
-houses made of stone and natural materials
-mysterious rooms, dark hallways, secret passages
Why Gothic architecture?
-Perfect setting to create a dark, foreboding mood
and atmosphere within the story
Beautiful women
House from Edward's Scissorhands
The Blair Witch Project: modern adaptation of a Gothic story centered in the woods.
Learning Target 3:
Gothic writing uses mysterious, violent, and supernatural occurrences to create suspense.

Poe writes plots that include:
-Live burials
-Physical and mental torture
-Retribution from beyond the grave
-Death, death and more death
-People of wealth misbehaving

-For Poe, it was only in these extreme situations that
people revealed their true nature--connects to symbolism and allegory.
-These stories are based on FEARS that people have, so readers can connect to it.

What supernatural occurrence takes place? How does it affect the characters? What could this experiment represent on a deeper level?
Setting connection:
-how do the sound effects, the lighting, the elements of setting help to demonstrate atmosphere, or mood?
Elements of characterization + elements of the setting +symbols used= emotional connection, effect, the reader feels towards the subject
Remember, Poe likes to write on fears that people tend to have.

Symbols and Symbolism
-In order to identify
, you need to be able to spot symbols and determine the symbolic representation.
Symbol: A person, object, action or idea that has double meaning--literal and figurative
Symbolism: the actual double meaning that is created.
Doves--what deeper idea could they represent?
Colors--represent more than you think. Check out the color chart to see what colors have been known to represent.
Gothic Literature
-a sub-genre of Romantic period literature
-popular during the late 18th and early 19th centuries
-style usually portrayed fantastic tales dealing with horror, despair, the grotesque and other “dark” subjects
-picked imagination over logic (supernatural over reality)
-focused on weird or sublime topics
-Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, Tell Tale Heart
-Mary Shelley's
Bram Stoker's
-How do the elements work to make
into a horror film?
-How do the elements work to make The Dark Knight into a romantic comedy?
Full transcript