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American Gothic Literature

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Presentation on theme: "American Gothic Literature"— Presentation transcript:

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 South’s reputation for sultry decadence lives on in a literature that meshes the moody romanticism of Gothic novels with the American South’s sensibility of tragedy and doom.

12 Southern Gothic Literature
The South’s mystique of decay and danger became a preoccupation for some mid-twentieth century novelists. William Faulkner, Truman Capote, and Flannery O’Connor 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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