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Gothic Literature. Definition Gothic (goth-IK): a literary style usually portrayed fantastic tales dealing with horror, despair, the grotesque and other.

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Presentation on theme: "Gothic Literature. Definition Gothic (goth-IK): a literary style usually portrayed fantastic tales dealing with horror, despair, the grotesque and other."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gothic Literature

2 Definition Gothic (goth-IK): a literary style usually portrayed fantastic tales dealing with horror, despair, the grotesque and other “dark” subjects. Gothic literature was named for the apparent influence of the dark gothic architecture of the period on the genre. Also, many of these Gothic tales took places in such “gothic” surroundings. open may people's eyes to the possible uses of the supernatural in literature. Charles Dickens was one of the first to incorperate this approach into his literature

3 Gothic Elements MurderDeathSuicideGhostsDemons Gloomy settings Family secrets DungeonsCursesTorture VampiresSpiritsCastlesTombsTerror As you copy this chart down, also write down a specific example from A Tale of Two Cities that Dickens incorperated.

4 A few more Gothic elements (Again, as you copy these down, write down a specific instance from A Tale of Two Cities.) Damsel in distress (frequently faints in horror) Secret corridors, passageways, or rooms Ancestral curses Ruined castles with graveyards nearby Sleep, dream, death-like states

5 Metonymy of gloom and terror The metonymy of gloom and horror. Metonymy is a subtype of metaphor, in which something (like rain) is used to stand for something else (like sorrow). For example, the film industry likes to use metonymy as a quick shorthand, so we often notice that it is raining in funeral scenes.

6 Note the following metonymies that suggest mystery, danger, or the supernatural wind, especially howlingsighs, moans, howls, eerie sounds rain, especially blowingclanking chains doors grating on rusty hingesgusts of wind blowing out lights footsteps approachingdoors suddenly slamming shut lights in abandoned roomscrazed laughter characters trapped in a roombaying of distant dogs (or wolves?) ruins of buildingsthunder and lightning

7 Importance of Setting The setting is greatly influential in Gothic novels. It not only evokes the atmosphere of horror and dread, but also portrays the deterioration of its world. The decaying, ruined scenery implies that at one time there was a thriving world. At one time the abbey, castle, or landscape was something treasured and appreciated. Now, all that lasts is the decaying shell of a once thriving dwelling.

8 Archetypal Characters The Gothic hero becomes a sort of archetype as we find that there is a pattern to his characterization. There is always the protagonist, usually isolated either voluntarily or involuntarily. Then there is the villain, who is the epitome of evil, either by his (usually a man) own fall from grace, or by some implicit malevolence. The Wanderer, found in many Gothic tales, is the epitome of isolation as he wanders the earth in perpetual exile, usually a form of divine punishment.

9 Basic Plot Structure for a Gothic Novel Action in the Gothic novel tends to take place at night, or at least in a claustrophobic, sunless environment. ascent (up a mountain high staircase); descent (into a dungeon, cave, underground chambers or labyrinth) or falling off a precipice; secret passage; hidden doors; the pursued maiden and the threat or rape or abduction; physical decay, skulls, cemeteries, and other images of death; ghosts; revenge; family curse; blood and gore; torture; the Doppelganger (evil twin or double); demonic possession; masking/shape-changing; black magic; madness; incest and other broken sexual taboos.

10 Other Gothic Novels The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) by Victor HugoThe Hunchback of Notre DameVictor Hugo The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) by Edgar Allan PoeThe Fall of the House of UsherEdgar Allan Poe "The Tell-Tale Heart" (1843) by Edgar Allan Poe (Full text at Wikisource)The Tell-Tale HeartFull textWikisource The Monkey's Paw (1902 by W. W. Jacobs (Full text at Project Gutenberg)The Monkey's PawW. W. JacobsFull text

11 Modern Gothic Novels The Phantom of the Opera (1910) by Gaston Leroux (Full text at Project Gutenberg)The Phantom of the OperaGaston LerouxFull text "The Lottery" (1951) by Shirley JacksonThe LotteryShirley Jackson I am Legend (1954) by Richard MathesonI am LegendRichard Matheson The Chocolate War (1974) By Robert CormierThe Chocolate WarRobert Cormier Interview with the Vampire (1976) by Anne RiceInterview with the VampireAnne Rice The Shining (1977) by Stephen KingThe Shining The Little Friend (2002) by Donna TarttThe Little Friend Shutter Island (2003) by Dennis LehaneShutter IslandDennis Lehane The Thirteenth Tale (2006) by Diane SetterfieldThe Thirteenth TaleDiane Setterfield

12 Other Gothic Writers Anne Rice Edgar Allan Poe Joyce Carol Oates Stephen King Stephanie Meyer


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