Different Types of Gothic Horror

Topics: Gothic fiction, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dracula Pages: 6 (2477 words) Published: May 22, 2013
In “The Judge’s House” written by Bram Stoker, the story takes place at an evil judge’s house that has hanged people, and a student named Malcomson is just staying there for a few days despite being warned not to. Strange occurrences begin with rats disturbing Malcomson while he is staying there but particularly a rat with red eyes sticks out to him. The rat with the red eyes would be in a hole behind a painting of the judge that is hung in the house, and sit in the same position as the judge in the painting. Little did Malcomson know those would be his last days alive since evil never fully dies. The judge comes back to life through the painting to hang Malcomson just like the others before him. Throughout “The Judge’s House” the four elements of Gothic Horror that occur are repetition, the double, menacing other, and transformation. All these elements contribute to my own interpretation of the story that evil never truly dies. The first element is repetition when the rats, and the rope keep repeating actions. In the beginning he finds out later by looking at the room closely there are rats in the walls: “Here and there as he went round he saw some crack or hole blocked for a moment by the face of a rat with bright eyes glittering in the light” of his lamp. What impresses him most, however, is the “great alarm bell on the roof”(Stoker 1) Even the narrator says, “This evening the scampering of the rats began earlier; indeed it had been going on before his arrival, and only ceased whilst his presence by its freshness disturbed them…Tonight the rats disturbed him more”(Stoker 2).One specific rat with red eyes repeats disturbing the Malcomson, and goes up the rope. That evening, the rats’ commotion and noise is greater than it had been the other night. Just like the other night, the rats later become suddenly silent and the red enormous rat disturbs Malcomson by staring at him again, “with baleful eyes,” from the “old high-backed carved oak chair beside the fireplace”(Stoker 2). The student throws one of his math textbooks since he was studying at the time the rodent disturbs him, but it doesn’t go away. The next night the sound of the rats again ends, Malcolmson looks up to see the huge rat again, throws several books at it, and finally makes it go away. After the rodent has left, Malcolmson sees, through a hole in one of the paintings on the wall. Examining which books he threw at the rat to identify which textbook makes the rat leave, he sees that it was none of his math textbooks, but a holy book: “Now for the book that fetched him!” Malcolmson took it up and looked at it. As he did he started, and a sudden pallor overspread his face. He looked around uneasily and shivered slightly, as he murmured to himself: “The Bible my mother gave me! What an odd coincidence” (Stoker 4). After Malcolmson visits a local physician he starts thinking about who must have been hung based on the judge’s orders again for another night a repetition of the rat with the red eyes bothering him , “glaring at him steadily.” It swiftly retreats, stirring the other rats in hiding to commotion. sees the enormous rat “in the Judge’s arm-chair, with the rope hanging behind,” staring at the student “with the Judge’s baleful eyes, now intensified and with a fiendish glare”(Stoker 5). The rat is constantly repeating the same actions each night to Malcomson. The rat stays there such as bothering him, and sitting in the same position as the judge in the painting giving the same evil look. The rat with the beady red eyes being the judge represents the second element of the double and the third element of the menacing other. The rat is the double of the judge as Malcolmson shows in the end when the transformation occurs, the rat has been a double all along. The rat, and the judge are the menacing other just looking to see what evil things to do to Malcomson. The double, and the menacing other are connected since you couldn’t have one...
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