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Gothic Literature Prepare to enter a bizarre, new, yet perhaps oddly familiar world. Prepare to enter a bizarre, new, yet perhaps oddly familiar world.

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Presentation on theme: "Gothic Literature Prepare to enter a bizarre, new, yet perhaps oddly familiar world. Prepare to enter a bizarre, new, yet perhaps oddly familiar world."— Presentation transcript:

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

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

4 Ancestral Curse The current generation suffers for evil deeds of ancestors. The current generation suffers for evil deeds of ancestors. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables.

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

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

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

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

9 Devil A spirit of incarnate evil. A spirit of incarnate evil. Latin: diabolus. Latin: diabolus. Ranges from tragic villain-hero (Milton’s Paradise Lost) to punisher of sinners (Lewis’ The Monk) to tempter and deceiver (Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus) to pure evil. Ranges from tragic villain-hero (Milton’s Paradise Lost) to punisher of sinners (Lewis’ The Monk) to tempter and deceiver (Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus) to pure evil.

10 Doppelganger German: doublegoer. Ghostly counterpart of another person. Body double, alter ego, identical other person. Bloch’s Psycho, Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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

12 Entrapment/Imprisonment Being confined or trapped, as shackled to a floor or hidden away in a dark cell. Being confined or trapped, as shackled to a floor or hidden away in a dark cell. Heightens the psychology of feeling there’s “no way out.” Heightens the psychology of feeling there’s “no way out.” Poe’s “Usher” in which Madeline awakens having been buried alive. Poe’s “Usher” in which Madeline awakens having been buried alive.

13 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.

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

15 The Grotesque Mutations, often deformities. The flowers in Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter”; the jester in Poe’s “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.

16 Haunted House or Castle A dwelling inhabited or regularly visited by a ghost or supposedly supernatural being. A dwelling inhabited or regularly visited by a ghost or supposedly supernatural being. Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, Edgar Allen Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, Edgar Allen Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

17 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.

18 Mystery An event or situation that appears to overwhelm understanding. An event or situation that appears to overwhelm understanding.

19 Necromancy The dark art of communicating with the dead. Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus.

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

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

22 Revenant The return of the dead upon the living. The return of the dead upon the living. A ghostly being who returns to life. A ghostly being who returns to life. Wilke Collins’ “The Dream Woman”. Wilke Collins’ “The Dream Woman”.

23 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. Poe’s “Cask of Amontillado”.

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

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

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

27 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.

28 Transformation/Metamorphosis A striking change in appearance; a change in the form or function of an organism by a natural or unnatural process. A striking change in appearance; a change in the form or function of an organism by a natural or unnatural process. Poe’s “Morella” and “Ligeia”; HG Wells’ Dr. Moreau, Stevenson’s Mr. Hyde, King’s It. Poe’s “Morella” and “Ligeia”; HG Wells’ Dr. Moreau, Stevenson’s Mr. Hyde, King’s It.

29 Unreliable Narrator The narrator’s ability to accurately relate events is suspect. The narrator makes incorrect assumptions or conclusions, or misunderstands situations or other characters. Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart or James’ Turn of the Screw.

30 Villain-Hero The villain poses as a hero at the beginning of the story, or… 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. 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. Milton’s Satan; Prometheus. Milton’s Satan; Prometheus.

31 Acknowledgement Most material gathered from “A Glossary of Literary Gothic Terms” on the web at www2.gasou.edu/facstaff/dougt/goth. 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. 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. Presentation created by Paul Reiff of the English Department at Vernon Hills High School, District 128, Illinois.


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