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Gothic literature. The History. Traced to early folklore 17 th century works—like Macbeth —served as precursors to the 18 th and 19 th century Gothic novel and drama Edmund Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757)

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the history
The History
  • Traced to early folklore
  • 17th century works—like Macbeth—served as precursors to the 18th and 19th century Gothic novel and drama
  • Edmund Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757)
  • Gothic literature reflects the social and political climate of the time
slide3

It’s called “Gothic” because gothic-style settings—like castles, mansions, and monasteries—served well as backdrops for such dark literature.

the run down
Genre deals with emotional extremes and very dark themes; it examines our deepest, darkest fears—both real and imaginary.

Gothic lit often incorporates supernatural elements, demons, and apparitions.

Meant to terrorize the reader—but also draw them in

The run-down…
common characteristics
Common characteristics
  • Victim is helpless against his torturer
  • Torturer has immense power, sometimes supernatural
  • Victim is often trapped by impenetrable walls—physical or psychological
  • Atmosphere of mystery, darkness, oppressiveness
  • Mysterious disappearances and reappearances
  • Melodramatically violent and psychologically abnormal
famous to some authors
Famous (to some)Authors
  • Horace Walpole's novel The Castle of Otranto (1764) is considered to be the first gothic novel
  • Perce Bysshe Shelley
  • Mary Shelley—Frankenstein
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Bram Stoker—Dracula
gothic character archetypes
Tyrants

Maniacs

Persecuted Maidens

Vampires

Werewolves

Monsters

Ghosts

Femmes Fatale

Magicians

Gothic Character Archetypes
southern gothic
Southern Gothic
  • Developed out of the 19th Century Gothic novel
  • Gothic lit examines a world different than our own + the South held values and attributes not necessarily welcome in the rest of the country = Southern Gothic
  • It uses supernatural and unusual events not to terrorize, but to address social and class issues
characteristics
Characteristics
  • Issues of race, alienation, and otherness are central to Southern Gothic
    • Freakishness: character is set aside by disability or viewpoint of the world
  • Uses a spin on gothic archetypes
    • Archetypes become American Southerners
    • Monster becomes an uneducated drunk
  • Use of the grotesque
    • Character’s negative qualities allows author to examine unsavory aspects of society
    • Something in the town, house, or farm is bizarre and often falling apart
slide11
Violence
    • often the result of racial or social tension
  • Sense of place
    • Southern Gothic settings feel “Southern”
    • Old, run-down towns; porches with rocking chairs, etc.
  • Broken bodies and broken souls
    • Problems created by social norm
    • Questions establishment’s ethics and justification
  • Morality is in question; what is the innocent’s place in the world?
    • Often asked to be the redeemer
  • Purity of heart rarely overpowers desperation
famous authors
Famous Authors
  • William Faulkner
  • Tennessee Williams
  • Flannery O’Connor
  • Eudora Welty
  • Carson McCullers
  • Truman Capote
  • Harper Lee
sources
Sources
  • http://www.enotes.com/gothic-literature/gothic-literature-an-overview
  • http://www.scepticthomas.com/gothic/gothic.htm
  • http://www.sfu.ca/english/Gillies/Engl20701/mockingbird1.htm