Gothicism is a sub- genre for many Romantic writers. This genre includes Gothic conventions such as macabre emotions of terror, fear, paranoia, mystery, ancient prophecy, omens and the supernatural(Shodganda, 2014, p. 39). Gothic literature constitutes of horror and romance as a primary theme. The nature of the French Revolution in 1789 encouraged many writers to explore the morbid aspects of Gothic literature. Furthermore, the revolution had a significant impact on Romantic writers because they were concerned with the turbulent effects of the events and its aftermath.
Fictional literature can be categorized into many different genres: drama, romance, science fiction, tragedy, comedy, horror, and gothic. Gothic fiction borrows from horror by sampling mystery, dire setting, and chilling architecture. Romance is sampled in gothic fiction by the use of characters, firm emotions, and misguided love. Greenblatt writes, " Gothic became a label for the macabre, mysterious, supernatural, and terrifying, especially the pleasurably terrifying, in literature generally; the link that Romantic-period writers had forged between the Gothic and antiquated spaces was eventually loosened" (584). Horace Walpole wrote The Castle of Otranto in 1764.
Fear is a guiding force in both the short stories and the fixation the main characters with it only leads to their demise. With both terror and the supernatural being common conventions in most gothic fiction Gothic Fiction is a popular genre of literature that’s aim is to combine horror, fiction and romanticism. It originated in 18th century England and was said to have been founded through Horace Walpole’s novel “The Castle of Otranto” (Hughes). He claimed it to be a “found” medieval manuscript which added to its popular, although he later admitted it was a lie (Hughes). This mode of literature appears to have sprung out from Gothic architecture... ... middle of paper ... ...th possess conventions commonly demonstrated in gothic fiction surrounding setting, atmosphere and theme.
The romanticized view of Gothic literature has influenced many by its gloomy atmosphere of metaphorical elements. Gothic Literature, also known as Gothic Horror, combines elements of horror, romanticism, and supernatural events. The beginning of Gothic Literature began in the 18th century “during the medieval times” where it was “a strong source of inspiration” , which influenced many of the authors setting choices such as the use of castles and monasteries. Horace Walpole, author of The Castle of Otranto, is known to be the first author of Gothic Romance making “use of the medieval Gothic architecture styles and design” (Lad 1). Differentiating from other genres of novels, Gothic novel express emotions of isolation, fear, despair, and suspense.
Two people who are said to have started the gothic writing movement are Ann Radcliffe and Horace Walpole. They started this style with their stories: “The Mysteries of Udolpho” and “The Castle of Otranto” (Book Rags). The gothic movement also came about because it was related to the art and architecture during the Renaissance era. Edgar Allan Poe three main elements romance, horror, and supernatural events are used in his short stories and poems. A few of his most famous short stories are “The Raven”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, “The Tell-tale Heart”, “The Black Cat”, “Eleonora”, and “Annabelle Lee” (Book Rags).
In Gothic Literature, Andrew Smith states, “[t]he word ‘Gothic’ means different things in different contexts,” for literature; however, the gothic is a “cultural reconstruction…of a somewhat fantasized version of the past,” (2). He goes on to suggest that the “Gothic style” came with the development of the “Enlightenment,” and Gothicism is closely related to Romanticism through the emphasis on “the emotions and the imagination,” (2). Jerald Hogle, in the introduction to The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, ex... ... middle of paper ... ...ne also uses historical events to unveil the truth behind the history, in his short story, “Young Goodman Brown.” Through his allegorical tale of the “journey into the wilderness,” Hawthorne exploits the historical events of the Salem witch trials to subversively expose the folly behind the religious zealousness of the Puritan ideology, in which “Hawthorne located a distinct national subject…the Puritan origins of the American self,” (Savoy 176). Savoy asserts that Hawthorne’s historical “approach” gave way to “symbolism of implication,” where his work is an amalgamation of “history and autobiography” to represent the past’s influence on the future (176). Horace Walpole and Charles Brockden Brown began the gothic traditions, but it is Edgar Allan Poe who mastered it.
Edgar Allan Poe applies a variety of examples of this feel in the short story. An example of the feel of the genre is “the haunted mansion, haunted siblings, bewildering corridors, and eerie chambers,”(Fisher 88). The so-called feel of the Gothic genre is so well represented in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” that it makes a great argument that it positively is a representation of the Gothic genre and not for the Gothic parody. An obvious clue that Poe left behind was the death. In which, most Gothic genre ends with a death or some kind of terrible ending ,yet in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” the conclusion of the short story is a basic ending to the story because this type of genre is dark.
Tragic wanderers, ominous atmosphere, symbolism, and themes: these are elements of a Gothic novel. Though Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, written in the early 19th century, certainly contains many components of a Gothic novel, can it be correctly grouped under that genre? A definition of a Gothic novel; according to Tracy, is a description of a fallen world. We experience this fallen world though the aspects of a novel: plot, setting, characterization, and theme (De Vore, Domenic, Kwan and Reidy). As well, early Gothic novels have characterized themselves through the use of moral commitment and exotic atmosphere in their themes (Lowry 32).
The House of Seven Gables as a Gothic Novel To be a paradigm of a Gothic novel, The House of Seven Gables needs to include many elements, all which center on the ideas of gloom, horror, and mystery. The action of a Gothic novel takes place in a "run-down, abandoned or occupied, mansion or castle," which often include secret passages, doors, and compartments (Encarta). The mansion also adds its own flavor and variety to the atmosphere of mystery and suspense in the novel by providing a dark and gloomy setting where the story takes place. The basis of mystery and suspense in the atmosphere of the novel feeds off of "an unexplained or supernatural event" in the present or from past generations (Harris). The unexplained event in the novel is a result of ancient prophecy in connection with the history of the mansion, or the earlier generations, and explains the negative vicissitude in future present generations.
There is a sense of foreboding throughout the whole novel, which is one of the basic necessities of the Gothic. This theme of the Gothic has different characteristics that all fit into the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster and make this one of the first horror stories every told. The very first characteristic of a Gothic novel is its sinister setting. The opening sentence in Frankenstein sets the mood for the rest of the book. Shelley begins her novel with, "You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings" (p. 13).