2 “The world of Gothic fiction is characterized by a chronic sense of apprehension and premonition of impending but unidentified disaster. The Gothic world is the fallen world,the vision of fallen man, living in fear and alienation, haunted by images of his mythic expulsion, by its repercussions, and by an awareness of his unavoidable wretchedness . . .” (Ann B. Tracy, The Gothic Novel : Plot Summaries and index Motifs).
3 The Gothic explores the darker side of human nature The characters and the reader confront evil.The Gothic asks the essential questions:What is evil?Are some of us innately evil?Why do humans do evil?What is sin? What tempts us? Why?What do we fear? Why are we afraid?
4 The Gothic always includes the PRESENCE OF THE SUPERNATURAL For example:DopplegangersGhostsDemonsSpirits , shadows, shadesEvil MonstersThe devilDemonic possessionBlack MagicShape ShiftersDoppelganger – evil twin, shadow double
5 Narrator or character who is both innocent but curious with a need to know – which leads to confrontation with the taboo, the forbidden, evilWith a desire to quest for knowledge – which leads to knowledge of evilWith an urge to pry into [deadly and/or dangerous] secretsWhy does the main character enter that attic/ basement/ old house anyway?
6 Gothic Conventions CONVENTIONS = Elements that often reappear in a specific genre, or form of literature; while they do not necessarily define the genre, they are common to the literary form.
7 Separate Worlds: The narrator is separated from the real world Dark horrific Realms – claustrophobic, sunless spaceRemote localesRuins of Castles, mansions, housesCrypts, tombs, cemeteries (physical decay, skulls, images of death)Hidden rooms, passages, attics, dungeons, towers, a precipice, labyrinths, secret passage, hidden doorsImprisonment or traps
8 ……..MORE Metonomy (a part represents a whole) of gloom and horror = wind, rain, doors grating, howls in distance, lights blowing out
10 Unnatural Acts of Nature Eclipse of the sunBlood red moonFierce wind or stormUnnatural silence
11 Conventional Plot Devices Manuscripts & artifactsAncestral curses, family secretsDamsels in distress, abductionRevengeBurial aliveInsanity or madness
12 Common Characters Doppelgangers Grotesques A Lady in distress A Mad or insane characterThe Byronic HeroDoppelgangers = evil twins, doubles with one the shadowGrotesques = often dark caricatures which produce both horror and comic – the term itself refers to distortions or incongruitiesByronic – aristocratic, suave/charming, moody, solitary, secretive, mysterious, intriguing, brilliant, cynical, often wounded. Fatally attractive to women characters.
13 In conclusion . . .Not all novels with gothic elements are part of the traditional Gothic canon ( ), Poe & Hawthorne fit this;The Gothic retains links to the past: folk tales, superstitions, medieval ballads, romances, epics and legends – all of which contain elements of the supernatural.
14 ALLEGORY When every element of the narrative is symbolic. What are narrative elements?Plot, character, setting, objects