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Characteristics of Gothic Literature

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Characteristics of Gothic Literature English III Mrs. Dunn-Reier * * * * * When did it become popular? Later 18th Century Started with a Gothic Revival -- mid ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Characteristics of Gothic Literature


1
Characteristics of Gothic Literature
  • English III
  • Mrs. Dunn-Reier

2
When did it become popular?
  • Later 18th Century
  • Started with a Gothic Revival -- mid-1700s
  • Visible in gardens
  • Seen in architecture (gargoyles) of the Middle
    Ages
  • 1740s - Horace Walpole - Strawberry Hill estate
    near London
  • Published The Castle of Otranto a Gothic Story -
    1764

http//www.puzzlehistory.com/gothgrdn.jpg
3
Application to literature
  • Any kind of romantic, scary novel
  • Came from Germany in the late 1700s - early
    1800s
  • Popular among female writers
  • Became best sellers!

http//www.greatscotland.be/evenementen.htm
4
Famous Gothic Writers
  • Ann Radcliffe - The Mysteries of Udolpho
  • Jane Austen -- Northanger Abbey (parody of Gothic
    novels)
  • Charlotte Bronte -- Jane Eyre
  • Emily Bronte -- Wuthering Heights
  • Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, Barbara
    Michaels, Anne Rice

5
A classic
  • Mary Shelleys Frankenstein (1818)
  • Single most important product of this tradition
  • Themes relate to science, poetry, psychology,
    alienation, politics, education, family
    relationships, etc.
  • Tradition 8-foot tall monster made of separate
    body pieces

librarycommission.lib.wv.us/ WVLC20BOOK/Frank...
6
Influence felt elsewhere
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge--
    skeleton ship and the crews reaction
  • Christabel by Coleridge-- atmosphere, setting,
    and fragmentary plot of seduction and witchery
  • Manfred by Byron -- initial scene
  • The Even of St. Agnes by Keats -- setting

http//www.wilsonsalmanac.com/images2/ancient_mari
ner4.jpg
7
Famous Gothic Writers - contd.
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Steven King

http//www.3boysproductions.com/MIFF-2002-Fri-Nite
-Program.htm
http//www.1001-votes.com/vote/fond.php?mcat24lg
fr
8
Characteristics
  • Set in Medieval times
  • Dark, mysterious, evil tone
  • Dark castles, palaces, chambers, haunted mansions
  • Isolated setting
  • All come together to emphasize the sense of evil

http//www.encounterspri.com/Articles.htm
9
More characteristics
  • Presence of ghosts, spirits, vampires, and other
    supernatural entities
  • Mysterious disappearances and reappearances
  • Supernatural or paranormal occurrences

http//www.penelopesweb.com/gargoyles.html
10
Characteristics -- contd.
  • Religion, usually Christianity or at least
    spirituality, is confronted.
  • A gothic double is used in which a character
    who seems to be good is linked with another who
    is evil

www.pagedepot.com/.../ GOTHIC20CHAPBOOKSX.HTM
11
More characteristics
  • Blood, pain, death
  • Cruelty
  • Eroticism
  • Characters with aberrant psychological states
  • Events are uncanny, macabre, or melodramatically
    violent bordering between reality and unreality

http//www.pantip.com/cafe/chalermthai/newmovie/ha
untedcastle/hc.html
12
Purpose
  • To evoke terror versus horror in the reader
    because of situations bordering reality/unreality
  • Often used to teach a message
  • May lack a Medieval setting but will develop an
    atmosphere of gloom and terror

13
Differentiating between the two
  • Horror
  • An awful apprehension
  • Described distinctly
  • Something grotesque
  • So appalling, unrealistic
  • Depends on physical characteristics
  • Terror
  • A sickening realization
  • Suggestive of what will happen
  • Depends on readers imagination
  • Sense of uncertainty
  • Creates an intangible atmosphere of spiritual
    psychic dread

14
American Gothic
  • Important from the mid-18th Century on
  • Related to Romantic Period
  • Criticizes national myth of new-world innocence
    by voicing the cultural contradictions that
    undermine the nations claim to purity and
    equality - Teresa A. Goddu
  • Tells of historical horrors that make national
    identity

http//photos1.blogger.com/img/154/1420/1024/ameri
can20gothic.jpg
15
Southern Gothic
http//www.madelinecarolgallery.com/images/Souther
n20Plantation.jpg
  • Customary setting because its the source of
    values not necessarily welcome in the rest of the
    country
  • Poe was the first Southern gothic writer
  • Common themes race, alienation, sense of
    otherness

16
Cyber gothic literature
  • Situations seem unrealistic during this time
    period but possible in the future
  • Dark setting
  • Nothing natural all man-made
  • Characters bodies are often altered, making them
    less human-like
  • Based on knowledge and a technologically
    enhanced future

http//darklands.ivory-tower.net/index.php?module
ContentExpressfuncdisplayceid17meid-1
17
Your assignment
  • Work in groups of 4-5
  • Take turns around the circle creating a gothic
    story - campfire style - 3-5 mins. in length
  • Take notes and write down key plot points
  • Write down gothic elements included
  • Be prepared to share with the class next time we
    meet.

http//www.illustrationweb.com/artist_pages/artist
_images/artist_4/the_pit_and_the_pendulum.jpg
18
Sources of text
  • http//www.acsu.buffalo.edu/mdward/essay2.html
  • http//www.wwnorton.com/nael/romatic/topic_2/welco
    me.htm
  • And others
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