Presentation on theme: "Characteristics of Gothic Literature"— Presentation transcript:
1 Characteristics of Gothic Literature English IIIMrs. Dunn-Reier
2 When did it become popular? Later 18th CenturyStarted with a “Gothic Revival” -- mid-1700’sVisible in gardensSeen in architecture (gargoyles) of the Middle Ages1740’s - Horace Walpole - Strawberry Hill estate near LondonPublished The Castle of Otranto: a Gothic Story
3 Application to literature Any kind of romantic, scary novelCame from Germany in the late 1700’s - early 1800’sPopular among female writersBecame best sellers!
4 Famous Gothic Writers Ann Radcliffe - The Mysteries of Udolpho Jane Austen -- Northanger Abbey (parody of Gothic novels)Charlotte Bronte -- Jane EyreEmily Bronte -- Wuthering HeightsShirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, Barbara Michaels, Anne Rice
5 A classic Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) Single most important product of this traditionThemes relate to science, poetry, psychology, alienation, politics, education, family relationships, etc.Tradition: 8-foot tall monster made of separate body pieceslibrarycommission.lib.wv.us/ WVLC%20BOOK/Frank...
6 Influence felt elsewhere Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge-- skeleton ship and the crew’s reactionChristabel by Coleridge-- atmosphere, setting, and fragmentary plot of seduction and witcheryManfred by Byron -- initial sceneThe Even of St. Agnes by Keats -- setting
7 Famous Gothic Writers - cont’d. Edgar Allen PoeSteven King
8 Characteristics Set in Medieval times Dark, mysterious, evil tone Dark castles, palaces, chambers, haunted mansionsIsolated settingAll come together to emphasize the sense of evil
9 More characteristicsPresence of ghosts, spirits, vampires, and other supernatural entitiesMysterious disappearances and reappearancesSupernatural or paranormal occurrences
10 Characteristics -- cont’d. 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 evilGOTHIC%20CHAPBOOKSX.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
12 PurposeTo evoke “terror” versus “horror” in the reader because of situations bordering reality/unrealityOften used to teach a messageMay lack a Medieval setting but will develop an atmosphere of gloom and terror
13 Differentiating between the two Horror“An awful apprehension”Described distinctlySomething grotesqueSo appalling, unrealisticDepends on physical characteristicsTerror“A sickening realization”Suggestive of what will happenDepends on reader’s imaginationSense of uncertaintyCreates 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 nation’s claim to purity and equality” - Teresa A. GodduTells of historical horrors that make national identity
15 Southern GothicCustomary setting because it’s the source of values not necessarily welcome in the rest of the countryPoe was the first Southern gothic writerCommon themes: race, alienation, sense of “otherness”
16 Cyber gothic literature Situations seem unrealistic during this time period but possible in the futureDark settingNothing natural; all man-madeCharacters’ bodies are often altered, making them less human-likeBased on knowledge and a “technologically enhanced future”
17 Your assignment Work in groups of 4-5 Take turns around the circle creating a “gothic” story - campfire style mins. in lengthTake notes and write down key plot pointsWrite down gothic elements includedBe prepared to share with the class next time we meet.
18 Sources of text http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~mdward/essay2.html And others