Gothic Short Story Essays

Gothic Short Story Essays-71
The Gothic writer likes to shock by challenging the assumption that goodness is the normal foundation of life.

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There were often supernatural elements that could not be explained away, such as the raising of the dead from the grave, or unnatural lights, as seen in the tarn of the Usher mansion.

A beautiful young woman like Madeleine was a victim of violence or threatened with it.

Other classic Gothic fiction Poe would have known include The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (1794) and Matthew Gregory Lewis’s The Monk, a tale of black magic (1796).

These were bestsellers that set the trend for future Gothic archetypes of spooky houses and unexplained deaths.

The air of realism is maintained through newspaper articles and testimony in court.

Other Poe detective stories include “Thou Art the Man” (1844) and “The Gold Bug” (1843), for which Poe won a prize.His use of vague suggestion to create terror is a technique still used by writers and filmmakers today.Poe knew the monster is in us and resides as the dark secret of the human soul.Gothic fiction takes its name from the Gothic architecture of the medieval period with its dark castles and inevitable ghosts and violent histories.The eighteenth-century English author, Horace Walpole, wrote a novel called The Castle of Otranto (1764) with the formulas that were followed in subsequent Gothic horror stories.These stories were a counterbalance to the overly rational mood of the Enlightenment writers, such as Alexander Pope, Benjamin Franklin, and Voltaire.The Gothic authors wanted to show there was something beyond the rational and that human nature was full of dark corners.In his critical writings, Poe explains how the mystery writer should proceed.The mystery has to be preserved until the end of the tale.The Gothic was often the literary mode that explored unbalanced states of mind before the science of psychology existed to explain such mental phenomena as Roderick’s “hypochondria” (depression) or his empathy with his twin sister.Poe builds on the Gothic tradition by exploring psychic phenomena and the relationship of rational and irrational human urges.


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