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Gothic Literature

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Jennifer Chadwick

on 9 January 2015

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Transcript of Gothic Literature

Gothic Literature
Ms. Field
History: A Timeless Genre
The name comes from Goths, a Germanic tribe who invaded the Romans.
In the 17th century, the English called Barbarians Goths.
In the 18th century, it was considered an alternate way of creating beauty and art.
Horace Walpole wrote the first Gothic novel:
The Castle of Otranto
in the 1500's.
What is Gothic Literature?
A type of literature that forces people to deal with societal problems.
A story that deals with supernatural elements and themes that are considered forbidden.
the setting must happen on a frontier, whether it be societal or physical, such as the mind, space, the old west, pastures of England and the forest.
Purpose of Gothic Literarure
To confront social problems and ideas normally considered "taboo"
this can be seen especially in Victorian society which was characterized by social and sexual restraint.
Usuall there is a manifestation of social, political, world problems and ways to solve them.
Elements of Gothic Lit.
Supernatural elements
Forbidden themes: death, debauchery, sex, murder
Locations of Gothic Stories
Isolated location (dungeon, forest, empty home, the mind, or a castle)
Ambiguity: the biggest element of gothic tales lies in the idea that it might all be fake.
Supernatural Elements
Dramatic amazing events: ghosts, demons, inanimate objects coming to life, and anything unexplainable
Purpose of Supernatural Elements
To create suspicion, but to later give a logical natural reason.
a commentary for societal issues
Acts as a type of forbidden element
a feeling of fear is felt throughout the whole work.
Plot often revolves around a mystery.
Prophecies, omens and supernatural events influence this.
Setting in a castle
Action takes place around or in a castle at some point.
It looks abandoned and contains secret passages, trap doors, secret rooms, dark staircases, and/or ruined sections.
There is usually an obscure or partial prophecy connected to it or the people that live there.
characters become overcome with anger, sorrow, surprise, and terror.
suffer from raw nerves.
crying and emotional speeches and panic are common.
Women in Distress
appeal to the sympathy of the reader, the pathos
end up fainting, terrified, screaming or sobbing (sometimes all at once).
heroine is often lonely, pensive or oppressed, so her suffering is the focus of attention.
The Tyrannical Male
one or more of the men in the story, (usually the one with the power, like a king, lord, father or guardian) demands the female to do something intolerable.
Elements of Romance
powerful love
uncertainity of reciprocation (with the love)
unreturned love
tension between true love and father's control
lovers parted
illicit love or lust threatens the virtuous one
rival lovers or multiple suitors
Gothic literature focuses on fear being created, and a sense of suspense
there is little to NO bloodshed, it's NOT about the GORE factor, but the SCARE factor.
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