gothic literature essay

gothic literature essay

Analysis of Gothic Literature

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1. Introduction

This is a genre that has its most important aspects yet to be explored. For a thin line implies, rather, emphasizes a problem and cannot be multiplied. In the same sense, for example, refers to a multiplication of problems by posing a new question that inevitably arises. A quick insinuation of this problem could go along the following lines: a minority of today, as there may well have been other similar congenial spirits; one has only to think of the most committed religious writer, united the most obscure medieval superstitions with the most exalted worldly and religious moral values, i.e., Dante one could say, a relatively limited number of today’s readers, who recline in melancholic idleness on the staples of a rustic armchair, beneath the ephemeral shadow of a plattic birch dating back from last century, reading with devout fervour some Gothic novel, well-established on the condemned library shelves, in which beauty is a sinister, slightly soiled creature, torn by inconsistent feelings, tormented, miserable, and ruthless at the same time, as the deep night invariably is.

The motives for analysis of Gothic literature are numerous: the genre is multi-layered and thematically rich. With its beginnings in the late 18th century, along the way presenting the opportunities to introduce far-reaching social issues (along with the more personal concerns of a hero or a heroine who otherwise would go unnoticed) and to stage modern, rather than archaic, themes, the genre boasts a wide array of sub-genres and themes. Regarding its appeal to readers, Gothic literature is both timeless as its themes are recurrent and rather historically determined, simply because literary pieces must always be taken within their historical (i.e. social and political) context. Therefore, many critics, historically and otherwise oriented, have written and can write pieces regarding the many things this genre has to offer, from an analysis of its themes to a description of the colour schemes associated with the heroines’ attire.

2. Elements of Gothic Literature

Special effects in film can only go so far when it comes to rendering the emotions of guilt, uncertainty, feelings of being alone against something which cannot be fought or understood, shame, etc. It is within the creation of psychological states that some of the best gothic writing can be discovered. The setting within a gothic novel is of central importance. Usually it is a long, lifeless, sagging gray structure with windows like parts of a skull. At times it is of an apparent vitality which is actually hiding corruption. Another location might be of a region of the country which has remained unchanged for centuries and is where shepherds tell tales of strange and magical things. Fiery sunsets and the mysterious flickering of candlelight are important to the gothic text. It is between the time of noon and that of darkness that evil can move stealthily and affect our lives. Such gloomy and extreme settings are an indication of negative values to be found there. Everything within such a setting can become the symbol of despair. The gothic novel is a study of despair over the death of society. Such death occurs when the human psyche confronts to look at the shadow side, or the nether side, or one’s self; the chaos is not understood and a sense of an unknown, abstraction, is the known/accepted explanation.

A gothic text is one which employs the following elements: guilt, mystery, terror, the supernatural, the promise of romance and horror. Things are usually made clear for the reader at the end of the novel through rational means, such as explanation, or the solution of a crime, or the lifting of a fog to reveal the truth, etc. One of the central comments made by Gothics is not to let our imagination imagine things which are not there, to make rational sense of what we see and experience. When we do not we are subject to acting on irrational impulses or conclusions that can only result in our ruin.

3. Influence of Gothic Literature

For the first time, the word “gothic” has found application for the term in the 16th century. It has been applied predominantly to the architecture which has not been historically connected to the Gothic, the territory of a country area, the north of Alps, and the Anglo-Saxon countries and as it would be not with to any other architectural style. The first man who has rejected the architecture was Vasari, who in his books “on the manner construction and sufficient should the beginning of the XV century, as well as several other books has declared that architecture could have only three styles: the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian. Details drawn from the Gothic are hardly praised obviously. Later they will be called “barbarous work of German brains, who have seized on Italy, and as it after all completely trampled their ideas of the correct acts in the field of the art”, in another example, done in accent that they are “lacks of everything which can be called an art”, later one they defined “the monster of spaciousness” that they are “camps of dwellings with similar animals”. During centuries, art of Gothic style and gothic art as consciously adhered can’t be called now else simply: the devastation of time.

Influence of Gothic literature. There exist some specific features of gothic literature. First of all, they are closely connected with nature and the world of mysteries, dark superstitions, and the marvels of legends, age, and fairy tales. In the second place, gothic literature was based on some points and a close contact with legends and traditions of the European people, overcoming big grades both as a graphical kind of art, and a sculpture, especially a fine and an easel. The main requirement of gothic stories is keeping the reader in an atmosphere of continuous expectation of dooms. This unsettling Holly Terror represents in consciousness and a subconsciousness of the reader an element of deep, hidden, and inexplicable fear. She can be kept and lifted by various art receptions: moments of silence, deceptions, rush blow, accents on mysteriousness, dramatization, blowing up of events, participation of the fantastic figures striking the reader, force from horror fear (when the monster, for example, kills in his dreams, protecting animals). The reader has to be convinced of the reality of the copied events, action especially carefully to designate places and landscapes. But the main become deep, the unwritten spirit of an era and its phenomena, its darkness and fear, arising in the world in which the heroes or, taking up protect it extremely noble knights.

4. Notable Gothic Literature Works

Two other stories in which a similar motif is used are Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ and Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Although the novels are somewhat different, they are connected by the theme of man’s longing for eternity. In conclusion, the main goal of Gothic literature was to imagine, enhance the meaning, and address the consequences of essential problems in life, human behavior, and nature. This was because, on the one hand, the Gothic imagination worked with the universal problems of life and human character, and on the other, the imagination of the imagination, at least in form, was based on elements of castles, dungeons, and cemeteries. Such places communicated the interlocutor’s experience of the meaning of personal and supernatural mukatness, beauty, and cruelty. Libraries and bedrooms connected personal experience with the imagination of the public. However, the genius of the Gothic lies in its ability to reconcile experiences and personal stories or experiences, make experiences meaningful, and convert emotions into knowledge.

Two late 19th-century authors that have been discussed in many essays on Gothic literature are Bram Stoker, who created the world-famous ‘Dracula’, and Oscar Wilde, who wrote ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’. Though the two novels are somewhat different, the theme of the dying man is immortal. Dracula can only rest in peace and die when he is killed. Finally, the same fate awaits the vampire hunters. As I said, Gray does not want to die, except in his own portrait. Finally, however, because of the influence of an older man, Gray stabs the portrait so that it will look old and ugly, and Gray will die in his splendor. If we look through Wilde’s biography, we can conclude that the book was written based on the author’s own experience. Women generally get more wrinkles and other signs of old age before they steal their youth from men.

5. Conclusion

I have always found books that utilized a ‘Gothic’ tone quite fascinating. They always succeed in making me captivated, curious, and longing to discover what temerarious despair the next twist would bring. I realize I do not only assign meaning and read what I see, but that when I read, I identify as well. I see Gothic meaning, everywhere. Gothicness can be placed within any literary space and can be feared. That’s why the Gothic is not going anywhere as it burns with despair. I also notice myself feeling safe when detecting Gothic elements in novels or when being able to classify them as belonging to ‘Gothic fiction’. It is because the genre appears to be subverting the continuation of the same crushingly mundane existence, taking it to a new, boundless, terrifying world of experience. When reflecting on the Gothic genre, I remember my escape into the impossibility of my page, making it evident that the occurrence of the past, the present, the future, and the cosmos played out in my reading and writing.

I have learned a lot from the in-depth analysis of Gothic literature. From my secondary education, I knew that stories sporting a grim and desolate feeling concerning life, grim ruins, ghostly, shadowy characters that corrupt, decay, and owe their power to such traditional sources of disturbance as corruption, revenge, and decay have to be classified as ‘Gothic’. But I never knew this to be a genre in a genre or what these aberrations depicted really are or why people have developed this writing style in the first place. In all Literary Gothic novels, the psychological and moral state of the pursuing hero combine with a dynamic otherworldly element, spinning the story into susceptible classic Gothic horror with a touch of absurdity. Through study, I have concluded worthy of reading and analyzing such classic fiction, without some degree of theological or philosophical reflection. When penetrating high and low, one recognizes the individuals’ spiritual confessional. Authors would mix in a smidge of philosophy, history, politics, psychology, and one or two horror stories.

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