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  1. Gothic fiction
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  3. Tales of terror
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In line with its settings, Gothic lit often romanticizes and revisits the past. Plot conventions.

The Literature of the English Country House: Gothic Literature

Common Gothic plots include revenge, familial secrets, prophecies, and curses. The past is somehow still living, breathing, and controlling the drama. Gothic lit often elicits intense, suspenseful feelings of fear, shock, dread, or disgust in the reader. Supernatural Beings. Monsters, demons, witches, ghosts, banshees, vampires, and other supernatural creatures often play parts in Gothic fiction.

Heavy Reliance on Symbolism. Characters, settings, and objects are weighted heavily with symbolic meaning in Gothic literature. Gothic villains often pose as innocents or victims. Just as the hero or protagonist is typically flawed in Gothic lit, the villain often has extremely attractive qualities.

Gothic lit likes to flirt with the boundary between good and evil and keep us guessing which is which. So the good guy might look like a monster when the bad guy is a total heart- breaker. Sometimes, you'll see a villain whose complex, conflicting psychology makes him the most interesting and likable character in the story.

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See Byronic hero and Satanic hero. A Gothic bad guy oftentimes has such such a sympathetic psychology and past that readers stop thinking in simple terms of black and white. He becomes a hybrid between bad and good. Themes of Southern Gothic Literature Southern Gothic lit often examines falls from former glory into decay, despair, and madness, the lasting effects of slavery and racism, the trials of a dispossessed Southern aristocracy, xenophobia, and class. Southern Gothic Settings You'll see many rural or antique Southern settings, plantations, grand antebellum houses, and old churches. Elements of a Gothic Novel Supernatural imagery.

Elaborate diction. Where formal realism uses simple diction, Gothic novels go elaborate. External drama. Where formal realism focuses on the inner workings of the individual, Gothic novels home in on the environment and how all the character's actions come into play. A Gothic novel is something of an inverted romance, as it tends to see things from the seamy side. Blend of Fantasy and Realism.

Gothic fiction

However, what makes Gothic Literature unique is not in the type of life it sees and represents but in how it blends the real with the imaginary. This blend produces terror because of the suspense and unpredictability associated with the paranormal and unknown and also makes the characters within Gothic Literature even more realistic than those in novels from other genres. Real People in Unreal Situations. No matter how fantastical and insane the situation is, a Gothic novel's characters always react in ways that are truer to everyday responses to these circumstances than the circumstances themselves, even providing natural explanations for what the reader knows is supernatural.

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This is a key element in Gothic Literature. Its blend of realism and fantasy means that the characters are developed as true to what they would be in the real world while they are place in situations that are completely unreal.

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To put it simply, Gothic Literature is about how real people react in unreal situations. For example, if a monk is offered a deal with the Devil he can't refuse, will he take it or just walk away?

Tales of terror

Which do you think is number one? Jekyll and Mr. What Is a Gothic Novel? Features of Gothic Literature. Stuff is dummy boring, worst English project i have had to do. I want to tell you that it was benefit for me in my study.

Gothic novel |

Thank for sharing. Today, Gothic literature has been replaced by ghost and horror stories, detective fiction, suspense and thriller novels, and other contemporary forms that emphasize mystery, shock, and sensation. While each of these types is at least loosely indebted to Gothic fiction, the Gothic genre was also appropriated and reworked by novelists and poets who, on the whole, cannot be strictly classified as Gothic writers.

In the novel "Northanger Abbey," Jane Austen affectionately showcased the misconceptions and immaturities that could be produced by misreading Gothic literature. Share Flipboard Email. Patrick Kennedy is a freelance writer and teacher who covers some of the world's most classic literature in translation. He's an editor at GradeSaver. Continue Reading. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. It marks a confluence of the gothic and romanticism.

Representing the beginning of the Irish gothic tradition in , it is considered by some the greatest of all gothic works. Representing a significant stride in the evolution of the genre, Melmoth profoundly influenced some of the most important writers of the 19th century, including Scott, Thackeray and Baudelaire.

Maturin's relative, Oscar Wilde, symbolically took the name Sebastian Melmoth when he went into exile following his release from prison. Now almost forgotten, the Reverend George Croly was a friend of the Stoker family. In Salathiel the Immortal , there are similarities of predicament between Salathiel and Dracula as well as with that of Melmoth the Wanderer. Salathiel led the mob which promoted the death of Jesus, in return for which he was condemned to the misery of the undead state. A reshaping of the Wandering Jew legend which underlies so much of the gothic genre, including Melmoth the Wanderer.

Like Maturin, Croly was a Church of Ireland clergyman. Published in , the year of Stoker's birth, this penny-dreadful contained over pages of often confusing text. It did, however, create some of what would become the stock characters of the vampire tale, especially its central European vampiric aristocrat with ambitions to be master of a great English house and a taste for the blood of young virgins. He is possessed of glittering eyes that fascinate his victims and fang-like teeth.

The staking of one of his victims established one of the most potent images of the genre while the elderly and wise Admiral Bell anticipated Van Helsing. Varney represented the first full-length vampire novel in fiction and probably also the first significant fantastic adventure story. Like Oscar Wilde's slightly later Dorian Gray and Stoker's Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde achieved a dramatic effect by bringing the terror of the primitive, or the peripheral, 'other' home to the heart of empire.