Gothic Literature: A Definition and List of Gothic Fiction Elements | Owlcation

 

gothic elements in literature

The plot of Gothic literature novels typically involves people who become involved in complex and oftentimes evil paranormal schemes, usually against an innocent and helpless heroine. One such example is the young Emily St. Aubert in Anne Radcliffe’s classic Gothic novel, "The Mysteries of Udolpho" (). Jun 19,  · The supernatural elements in the story, though, launched a whole new genre, which took off in Europe. Then America's Edgar Allen Poe got a hold of it in the mids and succeeded like no one else. In Gothic literature, he found a place to explore psychological trauma, the evils of . What is Gothic Literature? Gothic literature is a genre that emerged as one of the eeriest forms of Dark Romanticism in the late s, a literary genre that emerged as a part of the larger Romanticism movement. Dark Romanticism is characterized by expressions of terror, gruesome narratives, supernatural elements, and dark, picturesque scenery.


10 Elements of Gothic Literature | Pen and the Pad


I have had a lifelong passion for reading and writing and graduated with a bachelor's in English literature. Gothic literature is a deliciously terrifying blend of fiction and horror with a little romance thrown in.

The Gothic novel has a long history, and although it has changed since when it began with Walpole's Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story, gothic elements in literature, it has maintained certain classic Gothic romantic elements, through Shelley's Frankenstein of and Stoker's infamous Dracula ofuntil today, with authors like Stephen King. Dark, Abandoned, Decaying Settings.

In Gothic lit, you see lots of haunted houses, cobwebbed castles, derelict churches, and other once-glorious architecture that has fallen into disrepair. You also see dark, cramped, and claustrophobic interiors with hidden doors and secret passageways, gothic elements in literature, settings with hidden skeletons.

The outside world in Gothic literature is usually portrayed as being a dark, gothic elements in literature, wild, and treacherous place full of wrathful weather, malevolent forests, and ghostly graveyards.

Explorations of Romance and Sexuality. During uptight Victorian times, Gothic gothic elements in literature gave authors and readers an gothic elements in literature to explore romance and sexuality, gothic elements in literature, and transgressive thoughts, desires, and impulses, although usually in fairly heteronormative ways. Gothic sexuality is usually somewhat repressed—women are expected to be pure and somewhat helpless while men are expected to be quietly predatory.

It's also patriarchal, with men making moves and women reacting to them. The Gothic protagonist is often portrayed as a flawed, lonesome, isolated, or outcast figure who has to overcome obstacles in order to rejoin society. Southern Gothic is a sub-genre of American Gothic fiction set in the South that uses ironic and macabre characters and scenes to highlight the South's implicit values and beliefs. So the purpose of Southern Gothic literature is to address the underlying social and cultural issues of the South, and this makes it slightly more political than American Gothic literature in general.

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. You'll see many rural or antique Southern settings, plantations, grand antebellum houses, and old churches.

In many ways, the Gothic novel is a direct response to eighteenth century ideals of formal realism, which is why it is essential to understand formal realism in order to understand Gothic literature. Formal realism is about gothic elements in literature a reality through the experience of one single character. It explores an individual's internal rather than the external drama and individual consciousness and perception.

Furthermore, formal realism uses diction that is less elaborate and ornate than the literature of the past in order to reflect everyday life. Its overall goal is to educate the reader on both how to read and how to behave.

In Ian Watt's The Rise of the Novelhe claims that Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, gothic elements in literature, and Daniel Defoe are the authors of works that were the very beginnings of formal realism and the rise of the novel in eighteenth century England. He highlights how Richardson and Fielding in particular viewed themselves as the originators of a new form of writing as they turned away from the old romances.

Furthermore, Watt says that. Richardson's infamous novel, Pamelaand Fielding's Joseph Andrews are both clear examples of formal realism and how it portrays reality through they way the story is presented more than in the story itself. Pamela is about the titular servant girl who finds herself in the service of a gentleman who attempts to seduce her. In the end, gothic elements in literature gets married and becomes nobility, which is highly unrealistic for the times.

However, it is presented in gothic elements in literature series of letters with censored information her lord is only ever called Mr. Bwhich seemed so real to audiences at the time that they actually believed Pamela Andrews existed. Joseph Andrews is a response to Pamela in the form of a parody of sorts. Joseph is Pamela's brother and undergoes the same challenges in preserving his chastity as she does. In the end, he discovers he is actually of noble birth and marries a poor woman who is just as virtuous as he is.

Unlike Pamelathis novel is in the form of a story told directly to the reader by the author. The use of a direct voice for the storyteller and references to the amount of research it took to find gothic elements in literature story helps to make it seem like a real life story rather than fiction. In the end, we must remember that Gothic lit is a response to formal realism and it strives to work in almost the complete opposite direction that formal realism did.

The very basic aspect of Gothic fiction is that it does not strive to reflect everyday lifelike the works of Fielding and Richardson. This is why, while reading a Gothic novel, you can expect to find ghosts and other supernatural features absent from the works of formal realism.

In the end, it's pretty safe to say that the works of Gothic literature do everything formal realism would not even touch, which can either delight those readers who hate formal realism or disgust them with stories that seem too ridiculous to take seriously. Robert D. Sign in or gothic elements in literature up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Your work is really appreciated in India.

Me and my friends were preparing for exam Thank you. I thought it was great. Had homework to research this and talk about it in English. Nice not to have to visit loads of sites. Could you please make a notes on "the 18th century novel" and "Victorian women novel". Only definition, features and criticism. Thank you so much for summing up the Gothic Literature topics and elements into one article.

Hai, Lisa I have gone through your article it's nice and useful for me please try gothic elements in literature include more information without increasing the size of the article.

Great post, extremely spot-on. This is my favorite genre to read and write when the story is written well. I have shared this post with my followers and the writer's group I co-lead.

This is a really great hub. You write so clearly, and I really enjoyed reading it. Gothic literature is one of, if not my favorite, genre. Your point about Gothic literature being a blend of the real and imaginary is a good one and I always saw this the most in Wuthering Heights. The love in the novel is so real. The jealousy, gothic elements in literature, revenge, and passion are true human realities, yet there are the grotesque fantastical elements as well.

Thanks : I think I would've tried becoming a teacher but I'm so shy I'm not sure I'd be very successful communicating in person like I can on paper. Well done and well written, Lisa! You are very knowledgeable in the area of literature. In fact, you would make a great literature teacher on the high school or university level. I don't know if that is of any interest to you, gothic elements in literature, but students would be interested in you and your approach to literature.

I enjoyed this article very much! Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.

HubPages Inc, gothic elements in literature part of Maven Inc. As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, gothic elements in literature, owlcation. Please choose which gothic elements in literature of our service you consent to our doing so.

Lisa more. What Is Gothic Literature? Romanticized Past. In line with its settings, Gothic lit often romanticizes and revisits the past. Plot conventions. 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, gothic elements in literature, 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.

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 gothic elements in literature, Gothic novels home in on the environment and how all the character's actions come into play.

 

Definition of Gothic Literature

 

gothic elements in literature

 

Jun 11,  · Gothic literature is a deliciously terrifying blend of fiction and horror with a little romance thrown in. The Gothic novel has a long history, and although it has changed since when it began with Walpole's Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story, it has maintained certain classic Gothic romantic elements, through Shelley's Frankenstein of and Stoker's infamous Dracula of , until today Reviews: What is Gothic Literature? Gothic literature is a genre that emerged as one of the eeriest forms of Dark Romanticism in the late s, a literary genre that emerged as a part of the larger Romanticism movement. Dark Romanticism is characterized by expressions of terror, gruesome narratives, supernatural elements, and dark, picturesque scenery. Jun 19,  · The supernatural elements in the story, though, launched a whole new genre, which took off in Europe. Then America's Edgar Allen Poe got a hold of it in the mids and succeeded like no one else. In Gothic literature, he found a place to explore psychological trauma, the evils of .