The term “gothic” comes from the name of the Germanic tribes “the Goths”, who were seen as barbarians, uncivilized, savage human beings. Later, the term was used to describe an architectural style that appeared in the Twelfth Century in Western Europe , and also to illustrate a new type of novel issued in Romanticism, in the second part of the Eighteenth Century.
The gothic novel in defined mostly by atmosphere:- which dealt with the author’s choice of words . The space enhances the austere feelings that are meant to be experienced by the reader: ruined castles, labyrinthine spaces, dungeons, generally any out of the ordinary settings. The characters can also be labeled as bizarre as they are usually eccentric, anti-social , physically unfinished, or have extraordinary opinions.
Another mark of Gothicism is the possible presence of super forces, of miraculous or fantastic elements , the cliffhanger situations in the plot, drama calming down suddenly, abrupt change of state from normal to extreme or even the occurrence of visitations .
This essay will provide an analysis on the gothic motifs and symbols in Oscar Wilde’s sole novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.
At first glimpse it might not look as if there are a lot of gothic motifs and symbols in Oscar Wilde’s book, but it cares for more attention.
At the beginning of the book, Dorian is presented by Basil as a “simple and beautiful nature”(Oscar Wilde, p.23), contrasting with the image of the dead, old, hirsute Dorian from the end, that not even his servants could recognize:
“Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.“(Oscar Wilde, p249)
The first striking gothic element to appear in the novel is the painting, his own portrait, the main resort that made possible his deal with the devil. The...