Gothic Literature

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Collin Black
Gothic Literature
Gothic literature has a very distinct style of literature comprising of 10 key elements. Gothic literature has 10 key elements which include setting, environment, atmosphere, protagonists, emotions, damsels in distress, foreboding, supernatural, decay, and drama. Every piece of gothic literature contains all of a majority of these elements. Nathanial Hawthorne’s short stories, Dr.Heidegger’s Experiment, The Black Veil, and Birthmark, contain many of these elements. Each of Hawthorne’s short stories contains at least three of the gothic elements in the story.

Dr.Heidegger’s experiment is characterized by a strong protagonist, a high range of emotions, and a strong foreboding message. In the story the doctor is the protagonist who brings four friends to test one of his experiments. He is a nice modest man who has enjoyed his life and has not the greed or lust to do it over. This turns into foreboding when he warns his friends about the experiment that they should not be selfish and greedy even though he knew they still would be. Lastly the entire story emotions cascaded everywhere. At first it was dark and dreary when the story first started because the doctor talked about his dead girlfriend to his old worn out friends. Then when the friend began to drink the water emotions turned to high spirits as the age shed from their body’s and they became young again, but this dead not last. The emotion of the story turned to panic as they became old once more and they discovered that all of the water was gone.

In the black veil there was also a strong protagonist and fluctuating emotions. However the story also contained a very strong atmosphere. The minster was the strong protagonist that like Dr.Heidegger, attempted to teach people that he knew a morale lesson even though it may diminish his image. While wearing the veil he attempted to show the congregation sin. This drew an atmosphere of mystery to why he was wearing it but also...
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