The Italian Essay

The Italian Essay

Length: 1436 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Italian


Gothic literature changes from age to age to reflect the current socio-cultural situation of the time. Stories such as The Italian, The Monk, Vathek and writers such as Poe, Carter, Radcliffe and Shelley have presented facets of the Gothic. The Gothic is the representation of the darker side of awareness, a realm of neurosis and morbidity whereby it is a fantasy world that reveals secrets of the human personality.

In this excerpt of The Italian, there are typical Gothic conventions of its age. From the setting, there is the idea of the Sublime in which it is a reflection of a situation of vastness in an imaginative, fantastical visual experience. The “grandeur” and the “proportions” in the “memorial” invoked Ellena’s awe and excess of emotions due to its majestic, grand and infinite characteristics that seems to overpower and pervade the environment for “everywhere prevailed”. From the imagery of infinite “proportions” and “mass”, man is seen as insignificant. The idea of the Sublime is further exemplified in Vathek, of the “immeasurable plain” that reveled in its “infinity” in which it had “overpowered” man until “he fell prostrate on his face”. The limitations of man are magnified in contrast to the environment thus challenging the senses and emphasizing the insignificance of humanity. Ellena’s awe and appreciation of nature overwhelms her thus it rendered the preconceived notion that humanity is in control of the world and destiny as obsolete. Thus man is left hopeless and impotent. This idea of the irrelevance of man in comparison to nature is typically Gothic for it undermines man’s state universally.

A recurrent characteristic is the internalization of decay and destruction. The setting itself reflected the “interior” of the villa in which it was projected as the “chamber of ruins”. The colour of the villa reflects the hollowness and the obscurity of the character. It foretells the idea that we cannot escape corruption for it is pervasive from the physical aspect to the intangible sense of “gloom”. This metaphorical sense of internalization of decay is seen in Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher in which the destruction of the Usher family is manifested in the “melancholy House of Usher”. Decay is manifested from its physical form to the innermost intrusive intangible form. Thus when corruption comes from deep inside in its mos...


... middle of paper ...


...re such connection to the ideas of logic and reasoning is different in Gothic perceptions if human will triumph over the Gothic. Humanity prided itself as superior due to intellectual reasoning and will. In The Italian Ellena believed she could overcome “every fear for herself”. Thus there is the belief that will and reasoning would save her and her father but in the typical Gothic convention in which human logic and determination would fail no matter how good the odds. Therefore the shred of human resilience evident in Ellena even though there was “momentary hesitation” but she overcame it to face her fears and the possibility of death signified the failure of the Gothic. Another instance of the victory of human will was when she had nothing to hold onto except “hope”, nothing solid or tangible, only a shred of mental capacity that had held her through. However the loss of human capacity to reason would mean the loss of “hope” thus that in itself is considered as Gothic.

In conclusion the passage is mainly Gothic due to a number of close characteristics to typical conventions. Nonetheless The Italian has unique qualities that distinguish it from mainstream Gothic literature.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Failure of the Italian Revolutions Essay

- The failure of the Italian revolutions cannot be attributed to one reason as there are a plethora of reasons which could be cited as a main cause. The main reasons which could be argued as the most important reasons for the failure of the Italian revolts are the lack of organisation within revolutionary groups, the Austrian army’s strength, the political and military inexperience of those in power, the Pope’s abandonment of the revolution, the hesitation of Charles Albert to front the campaign of unity and Bonaparte’s intervention....   [tags: Italian History]

Powerful Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of ' An Italian Straw Hat '

- In my adaptation of An Italian Straw Hat, the time period it would be set in is the present time. So, if someone were to perform this adaptation in 2075, they would dress the characters in the fashion styles of the 2010s. The location of this play is Johnson County, Kansas. There would need to be a couple of different set changes. The first set would be Ashley’s House. The next set should resemble a liquor store. Then there would need to be a set to resemble a fancy drug lord. And the final set needed would be a higher end house, primarily in a kitchen....   [tags: Wine, Alcoholic beverage, Italian wine]

Powerful Essays
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Camilo Di Cavour and The Italian Unification

- The Italian unification was brought by Camilo Di Cavour who was named the prime minister by Sardinia’s king Victor Emmanuel. Cavour was a man who worked hard and tirelessly to help expand Sardinia’s power. Cavour’s skillful diplomacy and excellent chose of alliance and set about gaining northern Italy for Sardinia. Cavour realized after a while that the road block was Austria. So in 1858 napoleon 3 agreed to help drive out Austria from Northern Italy. Cavour provoked a war against the Austrians and french and Italy went to war and won two consecutive wars in row....   [tags: italian unification, politics]

Powerful Essays
707 words (2 pages)

The Italian Essay

- The Italian Gothic literature changes from age to age to reflect the current socio-cultural situation of the time. Stories such as The Italian, The Monk, Vathek and writers such as Poe, Carter, Radcliffe and Shelley have presented facets of the Gothic. The Gothic is the representation of the darker side of awareness, a realm of neurosis and morbidity whereby it is a fantasy world that reveals secrets of the human personality. In this excerpt of The Italian, there are typical Gothic conventions of its age....   [tags: Gothic Literature Italian Essays]

Powerful Essays
1436 words (4.1 pages)

Leonardo Da Vinci, the Epitome of the Italian Renaissance Essay

- Florence, the shelter for artists in need of wealthy patrons to give them an opportunity to rise to fame, was the center of innovation and creativity in the Italian Renaissance. This renowned city was famous for supplying some of the best artists in the world and for creating the some of the world’s most treasured art. Leonardo da Vinci, possibly one of the greatest painters in the world, was born in Florence and lived his adulthood in Florence, the essence and heart of the Italian Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci virtually changed the world and the Italian Renaissance by greatly influencing it with his fresh and unique ideas....   [tags: Italian Renaissance, Art]

Powerful Essays
801 words (2.3 pages)

The Deception and Destruction of Purity in The Italian Essays

- The Deception and Destruction of Purity in The Italian Purity in the Gothic genre can be perceived from so many points of view. It involves sex, beauty, perception, and people's position in society. "The Italian" has many characters that behold either one or more of these traits. In this paper, we will explore how Ann Radcliffe uses purity and the deception and destruction of it to enhance her character's role in the Gothic genre. "The sweetness and fine expression of her voice attracted his attention to her figure, which had a distinguished air of delicacy and grace; but her face was concealed in her veil....   [tags: Italian Essays]

Powerful Essays
1051 words (3 pages)

Morality and Egos in Radcliffe's The Italian Essays

- Morality and Egos in The Italian      The gothic tradition loves to play with the morality of a character and this explains one's egotistical tendencies.  In Radcliffe's Italian, no matter which side of the morality tree a character stands on, Satan has slipped a little pride in everyone's apple.  The role of doubles begins before Poe popularizes it.  Radcliffe works hard to create evil twins and/or corresponding halves to some of the characters in order to demonstrate the power of pride.  The gender roles of both male and female characters in The Italian do not always correlate to an archetype.  Radcliffe bends not only the gender rules, but also the stature expectations of the reader to...   [tags: Italian Essays]

Powerful Essays
1077 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The War Experience in Italian Film

- The War Experience in Italian Film The experience of war as it is presented throughout the history of Italian cinema is a uniquely composite display of historical reverence and cultural consecration. An analysis of this experience in all of its manifestations can be discerned from the evaluation of one or several works from the post-World War II period within the corpus of the Italian cultural signification. It follows from this approach that the essence of the results of this analysis will then represent an appreciative grasp of the aforementioned corpus....   [tags: Italian Italy Cinema Movies Film]

Powerful Essays
3454 words (9.9 pages)

Holes: The Italian Job Comparison Essay

- The Italian job comparison The Italian job and its remake have almost nothing to do with each other but they have something alike and say this is because both of the movies are about heisting gold. The problem is that the first one is more Italian oriented than the newer version. First I will talk about the first movie and then the remake. All right the first now that is somewhat more planning than actually doing. The plot is the main character Charlie Croker played by Michael Caine is just getting out of prison for stealing cars....   [tags: Italian Job Film Remake Comparison]

Powerful Essays
971 words (2.8 pages)

Use of Foreshadowing in Anne Radcliffe's The Italian Essays

- Use of Foreshadowing in The Italian Anne Radcliffe incorporates many aspects of the Gothic into her novel, The Italian. In this book, one can find an exciting exploration of an exotic culture, a history of family secrets, subtle hints at supernatural forces at work, and Gothic architecture in both ruins and in the Inquisition prison. However, perhaps the most prominent feature of the Gothic used in this novel is the element of suspense. Radcliffe creates suspense in The Italian through a chain of foreshadowed events that lure the reader further and further into the story....   [tags: Anne Radcliffe The Italian]

Powerful Essays
921 words (2.6 pages)