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Literary Devices Of Gothic Literature Essay

1708 words - 7 pages

Gothic literature was developed during the eighteenth and nineteenth century of the Gothic era when war and controversy was too common. It received its name after the Gothic architecture that was becoming a popular trend in the construction of buildings. As the buildings of daunting castles and labyrinths began, so did the beginning foundation of Gothic literature. The construction of these buildings will later become an obsession with Gothic authors. For about 300 years before the Renaissance period, the construction of these castles and labyrinths continued, not only in England, but also in Gothic stories (Landau 2014). Many wars and controversies, such as the Industrial Revolution ...view middle of the document...

The people were facing hard times with the Industrial Revolution and the major changes to society. The blending of the two genres forced readers to look at reality and be honest with themselves of what was going on around them (“Gothic Literature” 2011). Although there is a dark and beautiful side to every gothic story, the themes that are tied in teach a moral lesson for the reader.
The themes that are in Gothic literature deal with the struggle between the good and the evil. Whether it is with the characters or with the landscape, the human soul is put in a position of having to choose between the two. This leads to having a second self. The second self, also referred to as schizophrenic, is common with characters having a split personality. During this time, schizophrenia was seen as a person being accompanied by a demon or the devil. This was something that was highly feared so when authors incorporated characters that had split personalities, readers’ fears were fed reading about a character that had the devil as a partner. This theme is known as the “Forbidden knowledge of an element” because throughout Gothic stories, other characters do not know of the evil. Another forbidden knowledge that is commonly used is the character's history or a common object that is seen. This can include family history or a family heirloom. Themes such as the use of a monster or a transformation into a monster are another authors’ favorite (“Origins” n.d.). This is used quite frequently to create the fear within the reader. Frankenstein started his creation by “. . .collect(ing) bones from charnel houses. . .” to put together the frame of his monster (Shelley pg. 54). The monster, destroying everything that Victor cared about, was an accident that the scientist didn’t intend to happen. The monster only wanted to be accepted by his creator and was rejected by his looks. After the monster ran away and acknowledged he was doing wrong, he continued to create problems with the other characters, producing fear and uneasiness. The characters are feeling has a similar affect on the reader because of the Gothic literary devices used in Shelley’s Frankenstein (Shelley n.d.).
Gothic literature tends to have a theme that includes ruin and decay in the story. Many of the decaying happens to be castles, landscape, and relationships. This develops the common scenery found in Gothic literature. The scenery always portrays the dread and sorrow that a person will feel when they come into contact with it (Weinauer 2006). The details are very dramatic and intricate to help the reader share the same vision as the author. The picture is to create a feeling of dread within the reader that is captivating at the same time. The authors of Gothic literature have the ability to make the readers think how they want by describing the scenery with unique details. Although the scenery is chilling and somber, there is a historical beauty to it. The surroundings...

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