Gothic Literature. William Faulkner – The Novelist of the South. Origins of Gothic Literature. Named after Germanic tribe called the Goths. Invaded the Roman Christian Empire in the 4 th century A.D. Term “Gothic” Applies To:. Art Sculpture Panel Painting Illuminated Manuscripts
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Gothic Literature William Faulkner – The Novelist of the South
Origins of Gothic Literature • Named after Germanic tribe called the Goths. • Invaded the Roman Christian Empire in the 4th century A.D.
Term “Gothic” Applies To: • Art • Sculpture • Panel Painting • Illuminated Manuscripts • Stained Glass • Jewelry • Textiles • And the Most Well-Known - Architecture
Characteristics of Gothic LiteratureBe sure to know everything in red. • Emphasis on emotion. • Intended to have a magical or preternatural effect on the reader, evoking a sense of awe, terror, insignificance, vulnerability, or the sense of being at the mercy of a higher power which is a particularly medieval world view.
Characteristics of Gothic LiteratureBe sure to know everything in red. • The Gothic building, old, unfamiliar, mysterious and menacing in its "Dark Ages" associations was the perfect setting for a story intended to terrify or otherwise overwhelm the reader.
Characteristics of Gothic LiteratureBe sure to know everything in red. • Dangerous natural settings such as forests and mountains were also effective. The point was to remove the reader from the ordinary, everyday world of the normal and the familiar:
Tone and Characters • The world of Gothic fiction is characterized by a chronic sense of apprehension and the premonition of impending but unidentified disaster.
Tone and Characters • The Gothic world is the fallen world, the vision of fallen man, living in fear and alienation, haunted by images of his mythic expulsion, by its repercussions, and by an awareness of his unavoidable wretchedness....
Tone and Characters • Gothic heroes and heroines are on their own, stumbling alone, sometimes in foreign countries, through appalling complexities of decision and action, obliged to find their own solutions or go under; estrangement from family ties is their normal condition....Protagonists are frequently orphans, or they are foundlings or adopted, their family origins mysterious."
Setting and Motifs • Action in the Gothic novel tends to take place at night, or at least in a claustrophobic, sunless environment.
Setting and Motifs • Innumerable motifs typical of Gothic fiction have been identified, some of which are: haunted castle; ascent (up a mountain high staircase); descent (into a dungeon, cave, underground chambers or labyrinth) or falling off a precipice; secret passage; hidden doors; the pursued maiden and the threat or rape or abduction; physical decay, skulls, cemeteries, and other images of death; ghosts; revenge; family curse, etc.
Origins • Gothic literature has its origins in Great Britain. • The Gothic tradition in America did not develop until the early to mid twentieth century. Until then, America did not have the setting for a good gothic story.
Origins • The gothic stories of British literature were set in ancient, dark castles. Great Britain had centuries of history from which to inspire ghosts and other evil beings. • After the Civil War, the United States had material from which to construct its own gothic literature. The ghosts of Civil War soldiers are common elements to the American Gothic story.
William Faulkner • William Faulkner is one of the best known of all modern American writers. • In December of 1950 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and, in the decade following, was called upon many times to state his views and to explain his work.
William Faulkner • He wrote from and about a part of the country that has always fascinated readers the world over; the South has its own sources of profound interest, and Faulkner soon became known as pre-eminently a "novelist of the South."
William Faulkner • More important, he succeeded both in going beyond the superficial record of the South as a unique, historical region and in presenting a profound analysis of universal human problems. • The creatures of his imagination are endowed with such intensity and vividness of representation that their world becomes absolutely convincing.
“A Rose for Emily” – Questions to Know • How is the setting in line with Gothic tradition? • Describe the role of hereditary privilege in the old South. • Which passages on page 716 imply that Miss Emily is both proud and naïve?
“A Rose for Emily” – Questions to Know • What does it suggest when Miss Emily tells the authorities to talk to Colonel Sartoris On page 718? • Describe the effect of Emily’s relationship with her father on her life as an adult. • What does paragraph 2, column 2 on page 719 tell us about southern society at this time?
Continued • How do the townspeople say they feel about Emily? How do they really feel? What makes you think this? • Describe how Emily manipulated people to get her way (ex. public officials, druggist, Homer, et.). • Describe the importance of the Negro to the story. Did he know what had really taken place? Why didn’t he tell the authorities about it?
Continued • What does the last sentence of the story tell us about the events in the story? • Would the story have been as suspenseful if it had been told in chronological order? Why or why not?