Research paper: Gothic literature is always heartless

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ENG1002
17 March 2014
Research Paper: Gothic literature is always heartless.

All gothic stories evoke us a gloomy feeling: the authors- such as Mary Shelley in Frankenstein or William Faulkner in “A Rose for Emily”- are installing a strange and curious atmosphere that makes us feel uncomfortable. All gothic authors used a particular type of settings that makes us feel in the story and so in the narrator’s emotions. Another point that makes the Gothic literature so different from the other literary styles is the problem of isolation that appears in all stories and the importance of an anti-hero’s presence that is downgraded by the world. Indeed, through all these settings and manning points that are discussed in all those stories, a dark, obscure and lugubrious framework surrounds the readers. This being said our argument is essentially that Gothic literature is always merciless and wicked in every story. In this paper we shall argue that those main settings are the most important points in Gothic literature. The basic purpose of this paper is to show that gothic literature has specific rules in order for the reader to be in this typical type of atmosphere. We intend to demonstrate that through the themes of isolation, the sorrowful atmosphere and the egocentric characters – there are the entire element to create a heartless story. To demonstrate that gothic literature is always heartless in every story, this paper will discuss three main arguments: First of all, this paper will describe and develop the gothic motifs and conventions. Secondly, it will analyze the importance of isolation that leads to insanity in most of gothic stories. Finally, we will show that gothic literature draws an ironical image of romantics’ literature.

For this first part, this paper will announce the Gothic motifs and conventions that are essential for a good gothic story. This paper will illustrate firstly the motifs of Gothic literature by introducing four different texts: Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley, “The Oval Portrait” by Edgar Poe, “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. All those texts respond to a certain list of criteria’s that are irrevocable in Gothic literature. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818, the story is about a Doctor (Victor Frankenstein) that is obsessing about his creation and finally is disappointed. The second text is called “The Oval Portrait”- it was written by Allan Poe in 1850 and this story deals with a painter that is so passionate about his art that he forgets his love. The third text is title “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and this is the story of a young girl that falls into insanity through isolation. Finally, the fourth and last text is “A Christmas Carol” from Charles Dickens which is about an old man that hates the Christmas period, because it is the time of the year where everyone does charity. Scrooge is miser and gives a low pay to his employee and no time to rest. One day, going back home, three ghosts visit him on Christmas Eve: the spirit of Christmas of the past, present and future. Those ghosts listed his mistakes and Scrooge recovers and become a happy man and a benediction to the society. A good story always starts with an important description of the place and setting. Indeed, in Chapter 5 of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley describes the area by giving adjectives on where the scene takes place: “It was on a dreary night…” (Shelley 1). By doing this, the author is putting us directly in gloomy and mysterious atmosphere that are present in Gothic literature. According to Adrian Beard place and setting in Gothic literature is “a place where extreme actions and passions can seem oddly appropriate”. This means that locations that are described in Gothic stories are barely livable. Indeed, it is often in a remote building surrounded by a mysterious landscape and darkness. For instance in Frankenstein’s story, Mary Shelley uses a...
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