The Fall Of The House Of Usher And The Horla

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Horla” Gothic fiction is a literary form that embodies mystery and terror. The term Gothic is a subgenre of the Romantic movement of the19th century. Gothic refers to the architecture that was intended to introduce light and height to the churches through pointed arches, ribbed vaulting and stained glass windows (Voloshin 421 ). Although, gothic fiction was initiated in England it had wide spread appeal in Italy, Germany and Ireland. Two popular fictions that follow the themes and conventions of gothic fiction are Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” and Guy de Maupassant’s “The Horla”. Both are short stories that embody most of the conventions that can be associated with stereotypical gothic literary fiction. Both literary works use the deterioration of the human mind and the supernatural phenomenon throughout the story, a commonly used gothic convention. Although both stories are inherently different in aspects like narration, they are both successful in demonstrating the descent of the human intellect from obsessing over the unknown which only leads to self-destruction. 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 ... 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. Without this process, both short stories would not been able to create the gloomy and dark undertone adding to the impact of the short stories.
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