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To What Extent Has Gothic Literature Continued Or Changed From The 18th Century To Present Day?

2390 words - 10 pages

The language used in a novel creates the tone and mood for the audience to grasp what the writer solely wants to achieve. The Lexical choices of the writer configure critics to establish a range of motifs and thematic presentations that are evident in the book. A conventional Gothic Literature book establishes the typical Gothic architecture type creating a sinister and eerie atmosphere, which also combines with the supernatural creating the classical Gothic Literature five key books. However, what is most interesting is that most contemporary novels, especially Jane Eyre and Rebecca, have such clear comparisons with their Gothic elements. Whereas, with the contemporary novel of The woman in Black, the idea of the supernatural is evidently strong rather than architecture, arguably establishing that the focus now for writers is to focus the supernatural more so rather than what it used to be with architecture. Indicating that the supernatural has emerged into the Gothic Literature mould and remains there as another convention similar to architecture. The supernatural element is predominating in mostly 19th century novels to establish the language of terror. In most contemporary novels the supernatural is heavily involved especially with Rebecca and Woman in the Black.

Walpole’s supernatural language presented in the Castle of Ortrano establishes the idea that spirituality is dominate in presenting terror alongside the morality tale which has become a popular Gothic convention in most contemporary and classical literature. The idea of having a prophecy to establish authority and the continuation of the Ortrano family indicates the Medieval Gothic influence which writers of a classical nature had fought inspiration from the Middle Ages.

“An ancient prophecy ... pronounced that the castle and lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it!”

The idea of the ancient prophecy demonstrates the fact that there are previous owners of the Castle that remain in the castle as ghosts. This is especially evident with the reference of Alfonso with his “deep sigh” from his portrait in the gallery. The presence of Alfonso is heavily referenced perhaps he realizes that this is the end of the Ortrano family history because the rightful owner is now Theodore, having brought shame on the Ortrano family because of Manfred’s amoral actions.

Over 216 years there is a lot of continuity with the Drablow house in the Woman in Black. The reference to Jennet is similar to Alfonso as this these two characters are the predominate in the house and castle. This is particularly evident when Hill refers to the Mrs Drablow as a superstition or folklore, which was also evident in the medieval era because the genre of that time consisted of mystery and mythology despite Hill’s novel written in the post-modernist era.

“She would have been branded as a witch and local legends and tales were still abroad...

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