The Influence and Meaning of Gothic Literature

Topics: Dracula, Gothic fiction, Bram Stoker Pages: 4 (1385 words) Published: April 13, 2006
The Influence and Meaning of Gothic Literature

Gothic is termed in the dictionary with crude and barbaric, this definition coincides with gothic literature. Gothic literature was said to be born in 1764 when Horace Walpole published The Castle of Otranto, which is considered to be the first gothic novel ever written. Gothic literature explores the aggression between what we fear and what we lust. The setting of these gothic stories were usually in some kind of castle or old building that showed human decay and created an atmosphere of mystery and suspense. The words chosen in these novels and short stories were very descriptive they tended to "blend the idea of the exotic and the familiar" (The Balkans, 75).Supernatural and unexplainable events are crucial to the plot of a gothic story. Often, they act as the backbone of the plot and many of the circumstances and coincidences rest upon them. After reading Goldworthy's piece and Stokers Dracula I intend to prove that the setting and the idea of a supernatural being are the most crucial parts to a gothic story. Most of the settings choose in gothic tales tended to be in the Eastern half of Europe, because the Eastern part of Europe was unknown to most of the people living in Europe. Due to the fact that the people knew little information about Eastern Europe the fear of the unknown was prevalent. Eastern Europe can be considered gothic because of the relevance of the fear of the unknown. . In Stokers novel Dracula Jonathan Harker began to explain the differences that existed between the East and West in his journal. "It seems the farther you go east the more unpunctual are the trains, what ought they be in China" (Dracula, 2). This is suggesting the fact that the people in the West are more punctual and set in their ways. The Western part of Europe was not so creepy, people knew about the West. Western Europe was civilized unlike Eastern Europe. According to Goldworthy's piece the Eastern portion of Europe "The...
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