Supernatural appears throughout literature but it is best-known in the literary genre called “Gothic,” which developed in the late eighteenth-century with the publication of Horace Walpole's novel “The Castle of Otranto” (1765), which Walpole called a “Gothic story”. Gothic genre deals with stories of the irrational aspects of human existence. Gothic or supernatural features ap... ... middle of paper ... ...s considered to be of supernatural origin, such as ghosts; Supernatural is something everybody wants to have in their everyday routine even if they are skeptically disposed about it. Supernatural is something that fascinates, excites and makes people lives colorful. One of the genre were supernatural features are most common is Gothic novel and vampire stories.
The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs, The Clubfooted Grocer by Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, The Red Room by H. G. Wells and The Signalman by Charles Dickens Analyse how the writers successfully use aspects of the supernatural to create dramatic tension in the short stories you have read. The nineteenth century was an era of general belief in ghosts and spirituality. This is what made gothic stories even more appealing and successful during this era – the fact that they would be seen as being realistic. One major reason for the rise in spirituality during this era was the fact that many people had started to lose their Christian faith (mainly because the Church was unable to give an explanation as to why ghosts existed) and so they started to search for a new way of understanding and accepting death. I think that the Victorian’s enjoyed reading horror stories because they offer a challenge – to see whether the reader can figure out who the “ghost” or spectre represents and what they are doing.
Victorian Gothic Literature: Scientific vs. Medieval Thinking Creatures of the night have always held a fascination and horror for people in all cultures. The English fascination with sensational and gothic literature came to a peak, after slacking slightly following the Romantic period, in the late Victorian period with such works as Dracula, The Strange Adventures of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. The literate populace avidly devoured this type of literature. While most publishers merely churned out serial horror stories en masse, such as Varney the Vampyre, many serious writers used this genre as a means to force their audience to think about their beliefs.
In the late 18th and early 19th century, gothic ways of living were very common in the Eastern part of Europe, especially in the medieval times. A convention can be described as a standard feature or an ingredient of a particular sort of writing and in Dracula Bram stoker uses many Gothic conventions to excite the reader. Bram Stoker uses many Gothic conventions throughout his novel in forms of journeys and quests, the use of diaries, letters and journals, sinister buildings and most importantly strange creatures. Stoker also relies heavily on the conventions of Gothic fiction, a genre that was extremely popular in the early nineteenth century. Gothic fiction traditionally includes elements such as gloomy castles, sublime landscapes, and innocent maidens threatened by indescribable evil.
Instead of conforming to this perception, people were only led to believe the word to mean “dark and ominous”. Gothic architecture, with the foreboding atmosphere posed around it, correlates with the Gothic novel because it has been a prevalent backdrop to gothic novels in the 19th century, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. These Gothic horror stories were some of the first examples of the horror genre, and are therefore vital for the understanding this field. In its historical context, the gothic horror genre is believed to have emerged as a response to a time of rational thought, the Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. This intellectual movement a... ... middle of paper ... ...tablished in the modern horror genre, thus it is practical to observe the archetypes of the Gothic novel as well.
The ghost story genre has had enduring popularity over the past few centuries. It can even be found as far back as the Elizabethan era, where Shakespeare used ghosts as characters in his plays. For example in Macbeth, the ghost of Banquo comes back to haunt Macbeth. This genre has been so popular because the phenomenon of the supernatural cannot be explained and it ignites a fear in many of us. This was more so when the subject of ghosts were fairly new in literature, around the time when Dickens wrote "The Signalman", and therefore the story would have been quite different for readers.
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. Although there are significant differences between the two, it is the execution of collectively recognized themes of gothic literature that enhances their effects on the readers, the most important being the element of the supernatural as well as madness. In both stories, the characters are haunted by paranormal activity that begins to slowly consume them. Throughout the stories they then begin to deteriorate mentally which leads to their demise. The journey in which the reader is taken by observing the slow paced unraveling of their mental state is significantly defining in the overall effect of the gothic fictions.
This is an effective method, as it maintains suspense throughout the story. In ‘The Signalman’, the story is also written in the first person narrative, except with the narrator being an unnamed person. This ‘... ... middle of paper ... ...about ghosts and the after life, which suggests they are a lot more sceptical towards it. To conclude, I think that each story has a very strong and emotional line of events which is very effective to all readers; especially to the Victorians. Also I would think that they saw the two stories as more of a scary horror book which contained recent worries and events which they could personally relate to.
Many of the 19th century short stories concerned the supernatural. This essay will consider four of this type of story, by short story writers of the period; Dickens’ ‘The Signal Man’, ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ by W W Jacobs, H G Wells’ ‘The Red Room’ and ‘The Dream Woman’ by Wilkie Collins. These authors create mystery and suspense in a variety of ways; in the location of the story, the technique of narrative blurring where the readers’ imagination is allowed to conjure up its worst fears, inconclusive endings leaving some vital questions unanswered, unseen terror, mysterious characters and the type of language used. I will explore all of these aspects of their writing. The location of all these short stories plays a very important role in setting the scene.
When thinking of gothic literature, the first thought is a black, gloomy and petrifying story. Gothic literature is just that. Gothic literature is a genre with romance and horror twisted together to bring out the unreal. This type of literature has become very popular here in United States and around the world. With many people enjoying this type of genre, gothic literature has continued to expand and be well liked for over 2 centuries now (Saunders 1).