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Gothic Literature

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Nature and the country (versus industrialization and the city) Nostalgia (versus 'progress' ... Ghosts, Werewolves, Vampires, Witches ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Gothic Literature


1
Gothic Literature
  • Prepare to enter a bizarre, new, yet perhaps
    oddly familiar world.
  • Have your pens ready to record the highlights of
    your journey…

2
Romantic Roots
  • Imagination, intuition, and feelings (versus
    reason and intellect)
  • Spirituality (versus science)
  • Innocence (versus experience)
  • Nature and the country (versus industrialization
    and the city)
  • Nostalgia (versus progress)
  • Yesterday and today Horace Walpoles Castle of
    Otranto (1764) Anne Radcliffe, Edgar Allen Poe,
    Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King
    Freddy, Jason, Mike, et al.

3
Ancestral Curse
  • The current generation suffers for evil deeds of
    ancestors.
  • Nathaniel Hawthornes The House of the Seven
    Gables.

4
Body-Snatching
  • Grave-Robbing.
  • Stealing corpses from graves, tombs, or morgues.
  • Illicit trade in cadavers.
  • Violation of religious space.
  • Commercially motivated by science.
  • Kings Pet Semetary.

5
Cemetery
  • A place for the burial of the dead.
  • Caves, temples, mounds, catacombs, churchyards,
    crypts.
  • Crosses cultures and ages.

6
Claustrophobia
  • Abnormal dread of being confined in a close,
    narrow space.
  • Small, dark, windowless spaces.

7
Gothic Counterfeit
  • Playful fakery of authenticity.
  • The text is presented as a discovery or recovery
    by the editor, sometimes of an ancient or
    forgotten text.
  • Cloaks the real writers authorship.
  • Complicates the point of view (making things more
    fun and intriguing).

8
Devil
  • A spirit of incarnate evil.
  • Latin diabolus.
  • Ranges from tragic villain-hero (Miltons
    Paradise Lost) to punisher of sinners (Lewis The
    Monk) to tempter and deceiver (Marlowes Dr.
    Faustus) to pure evil.

9
Doppelganger
  • German doublegoer.
  • Ghostly counterpart of another person.
  • Body double, alter ego, identical other person.
  • Blochs Psycho, Stevensons Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
    Hyde.

10
Dreaming/Nightmares
  • Dredge up strong emotions, such as ecstasy,
    terror, joy.
  • Reveal urges, impulses, desires, even truths
    about oneself one tries to hide.
  • Reveal the future premonitions.

11
Entrapment/Imprisonment
  • Being confined or trapped, as shackled to a
    floor or hidden away in a dark cell.
  • Heightens the psychology of feeling theres no
    way out.
  • Poes Usher in which Madeline awakens having
    been buried alive.

12
Gothic Gadgets
  • Physical elements allowing supernatural powers to
    display uncanny presence and abilities.
  • Supernatural props vocal and mobile portraits
    animated statues and skeletons doors, gates,
    portals, hatchways which open and close
    independently secret passageways secret
    messages and manuscripts forbidden chambers and
    sealed compartments casket lids seen to rise,
    etc.

13
Ghosts, Werewolves, Vampires, Witches
  • Assorted supernatural (usually malignant) beings,
    bogies, and baddies.

14
The Grotesque
  • Mutations, often deformities.
  • The flowers in Hawthornes Rappaccinis
    Daughter the jester in Poes Hop-Frog.
  • A mix of two separate modes, such as comedy and
    tragedy, creating a disturbing fiction, in which
    comic circumstances often preclude horrific
    tragedy and vice-versa.

15
Haunted House or Castle
  • A dwelling inhabited or regularly visited by a
    ghost or supposedly supernatural being.
  • Horace Walpoles The Castle of Otranto, Edgar
    Allen Poes Fall of the House of Usher,
    Charlotte Perkins Gilmans The Yellow Wallpaper.

16
Mist/Fog
  • A grouping of water particles due to a change in
    atmospheric conditions.
  • Literary convention used to obscure objects,
    reduce visibility, or preculde the insertion of
    something terrifying.

17
Mystery
  • An event or situation that appears to overwhelm
    understanding.

18
Necromancy
  • The dark art of communicating with the dead.
  • Marlowes Dr. Faustus.

19
The Pursued Protagonist
  • A force that relentlessly, terminally and
    unavoidably pursues, persecutes or chastizes
    another for some real or imagined wrong.
  • A crime and retribution cycle, but also…
  • A hero-villain can be both the pursued and the
    pursuer (Shelleys Frankenstein, Stokers
    Dracula).

20
The Pursued Heroine
  • A virtuous, idealistic, and usually poetic young
    woman is pursued by a wicked, older, potent
    aristocrat.
  • The pursuit threatens the young ladys morals and
    ideals (and often her virginity).
  • She usually responds with passive courage.

21
Revenant
  • The return of the dead upon the living.
  • A ghostly being who returns to life.
  • Wilke Collins The Dream Woman.

22
Revenge
  • The act of repaying someone for a harm caused.
  • Revenge can be enacted upon a loved one, a family
    member, a friend, an object or area.
  • Poes Cask of Amontillado.

23
Sensibility
  • An acutely sensitive response to the afflicted or
    pathetic in literature, art, and life.
  • At best a positive force of compassion and moral
    sympathy.
  • At worst tears, blushes, palpitations, and fits
    of fainting.

24
Somnambulism
  • Sleepwalking
  • Hidden sources of stress may be revealed or acts
    of guilt replayed.

25
Superstition
  • Variously considered as a belief in the
    supernatural or the the mystical, and as valuing
    rituals and miracles.

26
The Supernatural
  • Events or phenomena that defy the rules of
    natural law.
  • More often, and more intriguingly, uncanny events
    that could be explained or dismissed (however
    ambiguously) by the laws of everyday reality.
  • James The Turn of the Screw.

27
Transformation/Metamorphosis
  • A striking change in appearance a change in the
    form or function of an organism by a natural or
    unnatural process.
  • Poes Morella and Ligeia HG Wells Dr.
    Moreau, Stevensons Mr. Hyde, Kings It.

28
Unreliable Narrator
  • The narrators ability to accurately relate
    events is suspect.
  • The narrator makes incorrect assumptions or
    conclusions, or misunderstands situations or
    other characters.
  • Poes Tell-Tale Heart or James Turn of the
    Screw.

29
Villain-Hero
  • The villain poses as a hero at the beginning of
    the story, or…
  • The villain possesses enough heroic qualities
    (charisma, sympathetic past) so that either the
    reader and/or the other characters see the V-H as
    more than a charlatan or bad guy.
  • Miltons Satan Prometheus.

30
Acknowledgement
  • Most material gathered from A Glossary of
    Literary Gothic Terms on the web at
    www2.gasou.edu/facstaff/dougt/goth.
  • Site maintained by Douglas H. Thomson of the
    Department of Literature and Philosophy at
    Georgia Southern University.
  • Presentation created by Paul Reiff of the English
    Department at Vernon Hills High School, District
    128, Illinois.
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