Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Known for what type of literature? Horror, Suspense, Mystery, & Gothic
Elements of Gothic Fiction • Setting in a castle or large estate. • The action takes place in and around an old castle, sometimes seemingly abandoned, sometimes occupied. • The castle often contains secret passages, trap doors, secret rooms, dark or hidden staircases, and possibly ruined sections. • In some American Gothic fiction, the setting might be in an old house or mansion.
Elements of Gothic Fiction • An atmosphere of mystery and suspense. • The work is pervaded by a threatening feeling, a fear enhanced by the unknown.
Elements of Gothic Fiction • Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events. • Dramatic, amazing events occur, such as ghosts or giants walking, or inanimate objects (such as a suit of armor or painting) coming to life. • In some works, the events are ultimately given a natural explanation, while in others the events are truly supernatural.
Elements of Gothic Fiction • High, even overwrought emotion. • The narration may be highly sentimental, and the characters are often overcome by anger, sorrow, surprise, and especially, terror. • Characters suffer from raw nerves and a feeling of impending doom.
Elements of Gothic Fiction • The metonymy of gloom and horror. • Metonymy is a subtype of metaphor, in which something (like rain) is used to stand for something else (like sorrow). • Examples of metonymy • wind, especially howling • rain, especially blowing • footsteps approaching • lights in abandoned rooms
Elements of Gothic Fiction • The vocabulary of the gothic. • The constant use of the appropriate vocabulary set creates the atmosphere of the gothic. • Mystery • Fear, Terror, or Sorrow • Surprise • Haste • Anger • Largeness
Other works by Poe include: • CASK OF AMONTILLADO • FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER • MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE • THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM • ANNABEL LEE • ELDORADO • THE RAVEN • THE TELL-TALE HEART
Literary Focus: Figurative Language • Language enriched by word images and figures of speech • Designed to make the reader take an imaginative leap to understand the author’s point. • Includes the use of similes, metaphors, personification, etc.
Figurative Language • Dead Metaphor – Cliché – a phrase, expression or idea that has been overused to the point of losing its intended force or novelty. • Applies also to almost any situation, subject, characterization that has become overly familiar or commonplace. • Cliché in writing or speech can indicate a lack of creativity or sincerity.