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Questioning and analyzing the American mindset
during the middle to late nineteenth century
Definition of Gothic (adjective)
From the Germanic barbarian tribe, the Goths,
derives a common term describing something
...
Gothic architecture
• Pointed
arches
• Rib vaulting
• Emphasis on

height
General Characteristics of
Gothic Literature
•
•
•

•

•

A helpless victim
A powerful
victimizer
Victimizer
fascinates hi...
Gothic characters in literature
•

Have mixed
qualities
• Draw upon
our
sympathies
• Frighten or
upset us
Stereotypical gothic characters include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

The thief with a code of honor
The lonely vampire
The mad scient...
America in the context of the
“dark romantics”
The gothic writers explored the cultural anxieties and
fears of the expandi...
Objectives of this unit include:
• Recognizing characteristics of gothic
writers (or dark romantics);
• Understanding the ...
Before You Go
On the quarter sheet of white
paper on your table—
1.Write your name;
2.Write two characteristics of
gothic ...
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The Gothic Period in American Literature

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A brief introduction, with objectives, to the literary period

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Transcript of "The Gothic Period in American Literature"

  1. 1. Questioning and analyzing the American mindset during the middle to late nineteenth century
  2. 2. Definition of Gothic (adjective) From the Germanic barbarian tribe, the Goths, derives a common term describing something that is crude, or uncivilized, or grotesque. “Gothic” describes architecture, literature, persons, and places.
  3. 3. Gothic architecture • Pointed arches • Rib vaulting • Emphasis on height
  4. 4. General Characteristics of Gothic Literature • • • • • A helpless victim A powerful victimizer Victimizer fascinates his victim Atmosphere is mysterious, oppressive Victim is “imprisoned”
  5. 5. Gothic characters in literature • Have mixed qualities • Draw upon our sympathies • Frighten or upset us
  6. 6. Stereotypical gothic characters include: • • • • • • • • The thief with a code of honor The lonely vampire The mad scientist The tormented artist The werewolf, horrified by himself The knowing madman The deformed assassin The ignored prophet
  7. 7. America in the context of the “dark romantics” The gothic writers explored the cultural anxieties and fears of the expanding nation: the “dark side”. These writers addressed such trends as --westward expansion --technological and scientific progress --individualism (free will, self made individual) --true womanhood --slavery and abolition The gothic writers critiqued the assumption that America stood as the moral and guiding light of the world (Winthrop’s “city on a hill”).
  8. 8. Objectives of this unit include: • Recognizing characteristics of gothic writers (or dark romantics); • Understanding the fears and anxieties explored by the writers; • Evaluating the effectiveness of the writers’ critical positions; • Collecting evidence; • Expressing our individual opinion; Supporting that opinion in writing using evidence; • Following a specific rubric.
  9. 9. Before You Go On the quarter sheet of white paper on your table— 1.Write your name; 2.Write two characteristics of gothic writing.
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