The Cast Away: the Analysis of Imagery in American Gothic Literature

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The Cast Away: the analysis of imagery in American Gothic Literature Sonya Pugh Rolle
ENG 125: Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Susan Turner – Conlon, MFA
November 1, 2010

Horror and romance are often the two compelling genres which receive the greatest response from entertainment lovers. Fans of both genres enjoy the overwhelming emotions experienced. The feelings of fear, excitement, oppression, humiliation, darkness, gloominess, and suspense fuel the psychological side of individuals. These feelings are not just found in movies and music but are found in literary works as well. In literature, this is referred to gothic literature. Gothic literature is defined as elements of horror and romance (Dunn, 2010, para 1). Gothic literature or sometimes referred as gothic fiction begin in 1700’s with the first novel written by Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (Dunn, 2010). By the 1800’s this form of writing style was evident in American writers. I will examine and contrast the imagery and style of writings from Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner. Three writers with similar style yet distinctive all share one common thread: social abjection of the main character. This form of ostracism has had numerous negative effects on the character who is the unfortunate victim of the twisted thoughts of the author. Gothic fiction spun several sub-categories of modern detective fiction and southern gothic (DiYanni, 2007). Despite his gothic fiction fame, Edgar Allen Poe actually began his author hood as a detective fiction writer. He’s even been called the creator of detective fiction. Strangely the detective stories he wrote were less about solving a crime than the grisly manner in which the crime occurred. Consequently his suspense and terror were quintessential themes in his earlier works, keeping his readers in awe. His writings were known as psychological studies of guilt, obsession and compulsion (DiYanni, 2007, pg...
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