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American Gothic

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on 4 December 2014

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Transcript of American Gothic

American Gothic
"Gothic" refers to architectural style
commonly found in gothic stories.

Extension of Romantic literature.

Became wildly popular during Victorian era.

Critics panned it as lowbrow, cheap thrills for the masses.
Dark Romanticism
Emerged in America during the 19th c.
Negative reaction to Transcendentalism
Main authors were Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Herman Melville
Main themes were of man's evil nature, death, and the supernatural
Contains dark imagery and settings
Modern Dark Romanticism
Stephen King
Born 9/21/1947

U of Maine - Bachelor of Arts in English (1970)

Most novels set in Maine - his birth state
First published work was Carrie (1973)

Common theme of Good/Evil of humans, victimization of weak
Works Cited
Greenblat, Stephen, gen. ed.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature
. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2006. Print.

Belasco, Susan, and Linck Johnson.
The Bedford Anthology of American Literature
.. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Bedford St. Martin's, 2014. Print.

"Difference Between Romanticism and Transcendentalism - College Prep English III." Difference Between Romanticism and Transcendentalism - College Prep English III. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. <https://sites.google.com/site/collegeprepenglishiii/difference-between-romanticism-and-transcendentalism>.

"A Look at American Romanticism vs. Transcendentalism: Literary & Philosophical Movements."
Bright Hub Education
. 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.brighthubeducation.com/homework-help-literature/99608-romanticism-versus-transcendentalism/>.

King, Stephen. The Shining. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2008. Print.

Rice, Anne. Interview with the Vampire: A Novel. New York: Knopf, 1976. Print.

"Stephen King." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

"The Conjuring." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

Contrasts Between Transcendental Works and Dark Romanticism
Nathaniel Hawthorne
(1804 - 1864)
Born "Hathorne" July 4, 1804 in Salem, MA
Father died in 1808
Attended Bowdoin College
Married Sophia Peabody July 9, 1842
Works include Young Goodman Brown (1837), The Minister's Black Veil (1837), The Birth-mark
Young Goodman Brown
Published anonymously in the New England Magazine
Set in colonial New England
Explored the paranoia of the Puritan psyche
Dark setting: "He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest."
Prominent themes of evil, witchcraft, and losing "Faith"
"Evil is the nature of mankind."
Unhappy ending
The Minister's Black Veil
Printed in Twice-Told Tales in 1836
Puritan minister covers face with black veil
Community disturbed greatly by the veil
No explanation for veil
Unsatisfying ending
The Birth-Mark
Published in the Pinoneer in 1843
Cautionary Tale against vanity and human engineering
Mad Scientist
"It was the fatal flaw of humanity, which Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions..."
Unhappy ending
Edgar Allan Poe
(1809 - 1849)
Born January 19, 1809 in Boston, MA
Father abandoned Poe's family
Mother died of TB in 1811
Raised by John and Frances Allan
Educated in London & at UVa
Joined the military in 1827
Cut off by foster-father
Married 13 y.o. cousin in 1835
Works consist of Ligeia (1838), The Fall of the House of Usher (1839), The Tell-Tale Heart (1843), and The Raven (1845)
The Raven
Published in the New York Evening Mirror in 1845
Most famous poem
Mourning interrupted by talking raven
Unreliable narrator
Increasing tension into madness
Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice
Published in the American Museum of Literature and the Arts in 1838
Gothic love story
Dark description of Ligeia
Gothic setting
Death and the supernatural
Abrupt ending
The Fall of the House of Usher
Published in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine and American Monthly Review in 1839
Unnamed narrator stays with sickly acquaintance
Gothic architecture
Sense of horror
Death and the supernatural
The Tell-Tale Heart
Published in the Pioneer: A Literary and Critical Magazine in 1843
Poe's shortest story
Murder, madness, and guilt
Macabre imagery
Herman Melville
(1819 - 1891)
Published 1976
Man becomes vampire, morality is questioned
Theme of murder and sin
Evil symbolism of vampires
Born August 1, 1819 in NYC
Family business collapsed in 1830
Father died in 1832
Became a sailor
Published books about sailing experiences
Friends with Nathaniel Hawthorne
Wrote Moby Dick (1851)
Died poor and unknown
Bartleby the Scrivener
Published in Putnam's Monthly Magazine in 1853
"A Story of Wall-Street"
Similar style to Hawthorne
Interprets the American Dream
"I would prefer not to."
Demise of Bartleby
Dead letter office
Writing Comparison
Transcendental Writing:
"We must trust the perfection of the creation so far, as to believe that whatever curiosity the order of things has awakened in our minds, the order of things can satisfy."
From Ralph Waldo Emerson's

Dark Romanticism Writing
"And neither the angels in Heaven above, nor the demons down under the sea can ever dissever my soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee."
From Edgar Allan Poe's
Annabel Lee

View of God/God's Role
Internal vs. External
Source of Goodness
Inherent Goodness vs. Darkness
"Spirit of Perverseness"
Writing Style
Transcendental Book Covers
Writing Comparison Quiz
So what have we learned?
1. What were some of the main themes of Dark Romanticism?
2. Concerning family life, what did Hawthorne, Poe, and Melville have in common?
3. Which author's works reflected his Puritan heritage?
4. Which author spent five years as a sailor?
5. Which author tended to use unnamed narrators?

Inspired by Stanley Hotel

Ghost sightings and visions throughout novel

“Sometimes human places, create inhuman monsters.”

“Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win.”
Which is which?
"Thus it seemed that this one hillside illustrated the principle of all the operations of Nature. The Maker of this earth but patented a leaf."
"And as in ethics, evil is a consequence of Good, so in fact, out of Joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been "
Similarities Between Transcendentalism and Dark Romanticism
Reactions to strict way of life
Opposed Calvinism
Emphasis on the individual
Dark Romantic Book Covers
Addition Elements of Modern Gothic
One strong individual plagued with anxiety

Specific effects on psychology of individuals

Still incorporates fearful surroundings/night

Destruction of family unit

Director - James Wan
Screenplay Writers - Chad and Carey Hayes

Family moves into house inhabited by evil spirits

Gradual demonic possession of humans

The Shining - 1977
The Conjuring - 2013
4th Earl of Orford, son of England's first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole

Horace Walpole
Wrote The Castle of Otranto in 1764
Revived "Gothic" style by building
Strawberry Hill in Twickenham
Considered the first Gothic novel

The Castle of Otranto (1764)
Published anonymously, allegedly as a
translation of an Italian manuscript
Set a precedent for themes in Gothic literature
Strawberry Hill
Built in phases: 1749, 1760, 1772, 1776

Deliberately gloomy atmosphere intended to enhance Walpole's collection of rare antiques and artifacts.

Inspired a Neo-Gothic architectural revival
Little known about personal life
Never made a public appearance

Romantic roots
Pioneered Gothic themes and elements
"The Explained Supernatural"
Legitimized the genre

Traditional moral values asserted,
women's rights advocated,
reason prevails
Ann Radcliffe
Romantic Theme:
Extensive descriptions of exotic mountainous landscapes

Gothic elements:
Persecuted heroine
Scheming, villainous noblemen
Forbidden peasant love interest
Mysterious past
Crumbling castle
Frightening coincidental occurences
The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798)
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Zastrozzi: A Romance (1810)
St. Irvyne; or, the Rosicrucian (1810)
Mary Shelley
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)
John William Polidori
The Vampyre (1819)

The Romantics
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