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American Gothic Literature

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... tyrannical male The metonymy of gloom and horror Southern Gothic Literature The South s reputation for sultry decadence lives on in a literature that meshes the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: American Gothic Literature


1
American Gothic Literature Though in many of its
aspects this visible world seems formed in love,
the invisible spheres were formed in fright.
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
2
American Gothic Literature Gothic refers to the
use of medieval, wild, or mysterious elements in
literature. Gothic literature features gloomy
settings and horrifying events. Edgar Allan Poe
is generally regarded as the American master of
Gothic writing.
3
  • American Gothic Literature
  • Themes
  • Family structure
  • Violence
  • Unreliable narrators
  • Transgression
  • Religion

4
American Gothic Literature Gothic literature is
marked by a preoccupation with gloom, mystery,
and terror. It may involve the supernatural. The
Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (1764) began
the movement.
5
American Gothic Literature Many writers followed
him, and in the United States, the first
well-known Gothic novelist was Charles Brockden
Brown. Later, both Hawthorne and Poe wrote in
the Gothic mode.
6
American Gothic Literature The term Gothic has
also been extended to denote a type of fiction
which lacks the medieval setting but develops a
brooding atmosphere of gloom or terror,
represents events which are uncanny, or macabre,
or
7
American Gothic Literature melodramatically
violent, and often deals with psychological
states.
8
American Gothic Literature The settings for these
pieces of literature could be in any time period,
a gloomy castle replete with dungeons,
subterranean passages, and sliding panels,
9
American Gothic Literature with plentiful use of
ghosts, mysterious chilling terror and a variety
of horrors.
10
Elements of the Gothic Novel
  • An atmosphere of mystery and suspense.
  • An ancient prophecy
  • Omens, portents, visions
  • Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events
  • High, even overwrought emotion
  • Women in distress
  • Women threatened by a powerful, impulsive,
    tyrannical male
  • The metonymy of gloom and horror

11
Southern Gothic Literature The Souths reputation
for sultry decadence lives on in a literature
that meshes the moody romanticism of Gothic
novels with the American Souths sensibility of
tragedy and doom.
12
Southern Gothic Literature The Souths mystique
of decay and danger became a preoccupation for
some mid-twentieth century novelists. William
Faulkner, Truman Capote, and Flannery OConnor
are sometimes
13
Southern Gothic Literature grouped together in
the category of Southern Gothic because of the
gloom and pessimism of their fiction.
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