Mex-Ame Lit – Block D
March 6, 2013
Elements of Gothic Horror
“That truth is that monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.”
There are six elements that are incorporated in gothic horror literature which are: an eerie and threatening setting, a dark and evil plot, encountering otherworldly characters that defy natural laws, symbolic inanimate objects that often take on mysterious powers, an atmosphere of fear and dread that evil will prevail over good, and a main character that is at risk of going mad from the extreme pressures of the threatening situation. These six elements are incorporated in the six works: “The Innocents,” The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, and A Rose For Emily.
In the movie “The Innocents” by Jack Clayton, he incorporates five of the six elements of gothic horror. He uses a plot that involves a fair maiden who is pursued by an evil villain. For example, in the movie Miss Giddens is the victim and the evil villain is Peter Quint. Miss Giddens gets a job as a governess of two children in a big house and Peter Quint died in that house and possesses the two children so that he and Miss Jessel (the former governess who also died) can maintain a relationship. Clayton also uses the element of encounters with otherworldly characters that defy natural laws. We see this when Miss Giddens first encounters Peter Quint, and Mrs. Grose (the housekeeper), who had told her that he had already died. Clayton also uses an element of fear and dread that evil will prevail good. In the movie, the atmosphere is not all dark mysterious, it is actually sunny and bright. Everything seems so “innocent”, that’s what makes the atmosphere spooky. The house also plays a factor in the atmosphere of the movie, the house is big and spooky and it is occupied by two ghosts. Clayton also uses a main character that is at risk of going mad from...
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