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Elements of the Gothic Novel

Elements of the Gothic Novel
Robert Harris Version Date: June 15, 2015 The gothic novel was invented almost single-handedly by Horace Walpole, whose The Castle of Otranto (1764) contains essentially all the elements that constitute the genre. Walpole's novel was imitated not only in the eighteenth century and not only in the novel form, but it has influenced the novel, the short story, poetry, and even film making up to the present day. Gothic elements include the following: 1. Setting in a castle. The castle may be near or connected to caves, which lend their own haunting flavor with their darkness, uneven floors, branchings, claustrophobia, and mystery. Translated into the modern novel or filmmaking, the setting might be in an old house or mansion--or even a new house--where unusual camera angles, sustained close ups during movement, and darkness or shadows create the same sense of claustrophobia and entrapment. 2. In modern novels and filmmaking, the inexplicable events are often murders. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 1.

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Conventions of the Gothic Genre There are a number of techniques, devices and conventions common to a great deal of Gothic literature: WEATHER: used in a number of ways and forms, some of these being: Mist - This convention in Gothic Literature is often used to obscure objects (this can be related to the sublime) by reducing visibility or to prelude the insertion of a terrifying person or thing; Storms - These frequently accompany important events. Flashes of lightening accompany revelation; thunder and downpours prefigure the appearance of a character or the beginning of a significant event; Sunlight - represents goodness and pleasure; it also has the power to bestow these upon characters.THE SUBLIME: The definition of this key term has long been a contested term, but the idea of the sublime is essential to an understanding of Gothic poetics and, especially, the attempt to defend or justify the literature of terror. This of course is a selection of only a few elements of a novel, and no text is this predictable.

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