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Adapted from Robert Vaux
Gothic fiction began in England in the late
18th/ early 19th century. Soon, it spread to
other parts of the world, especia...
• Often set in old, rundown structures

(especially castles or great country
manors)
• Buildings usually feature hidden
pa...
• The area around the setting, the

environment, reflects a bleak or
foreboding atmosphere:
• Dark forests, imposing mount...
• Gothic literature stresses an atmosphere

of mystery, horror and dread. The plot
involves hidden secrets which threaten
...
• Usually isolated or alone
• Isolation can come in different forms
(physical or emotional) and may be selfimposed or a re...
• Story contains many intense emotions

(like Romantic literature)
• Characters are often passionate and
strong-willed, de...
• A woman is threatened by tyrannical

men or by the circumstances in which
they find themselves.
• They often appear frig...
• Ominous implications precede dark

events
• Unlucky omens appear, ancient curses
linger in the air,
• Dark forces beyond...
• Ghosts and unexplained manifestations

often appear
• Sometimes, these elements have a
rational explanation, but the imp...
• The overall impression of a Gothic world

is one of decay: a formerly great family,
community, country or individual who...
• Events in Gothic literature emphasize high

emotion and often reflect a heightened sense of
drama.
• Murders, kidnapping...
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Elements of gothic literature

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Adapted from an article on About.com, using with Poe's "The Raven" and "The Fall of the House of Usher."

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Elements of gothic literature

  1. 1. Adapted from Robert Vaux
  2. 2. Gothic fiction began in England in the late 18th/ early 19th century. Soon, it spread to other parts of the world, especially the United States  It falls in the realm of Romantic literature, where faith in the senses, feelings, and imagination were emphasized.  Gothic literature is often darker and more tragic than other Romantic works of the period. 
  3. 3. • Often set in old, rundown structures (especially castles or great country manors) • Buildings usually feature hidden passages, trap doors, dungeons or secret rooms, and has suffered a decline from its former greatness.
  4. 4. • The area around the setting, the environment, reflects a bleak or foreboding atmosphere: • Dark forests, imposing mountains, stormy weather or areas far away from civilization
  5. 5. • Gothic literature stresses an atmosphere of mystery, horror and dread. The plot involves hidden secrets which threaten the protagonist.
  6. 6. • Usually isolated or alone • Isolation can come in different forms (physical or emotional) and may be selfimposed or a result of circumstances beyond their control
  7. 7. • Story contains many intense emotions (like Romantic literature) • Characters are often passionate and strong-willed, defying others or even their own common sense in pursuit of their goals. • Women are often curious and have a tendency to swoon • Men storm and rage in reflection of unseen inner torments.
  8. 8. • A woman is threatened by tyrannical men or by the circumstances in which they find themselves. • They often appear frightened and may suffer from some kind of ailment.
  9. 9. • Ominous implications precede dark events • Unlucky omens appear, ancient curses linger in the air, • Dark forces beyond the hero's control thwart his ambitions
  10. 10. • Ghosts and unexplained manifestations often appear • Sometimes, these elements have a rational explanation, but the implication always suggests something not of this world.
  11. 11. • The overall impression of a Gothic world is one of decay: a formerly great family, community, country or individual who has peaked and now begins a slow process of decline. • This appears both in the landscape (crumbling buildings) and in the characters themselves
  12. 12. • Events in Gothic literature emphasize high emotion and often reflect a heightened sense of drama. • Murders, kidnappings, people going mad and tragic illnesses are par for the course. Adapted from: http://www.ehow.com/info_8104633_10-elements-gothicliterature.html#ixzz2hnPj0Phv

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