This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Contents………………………………………………………...1 Introduction…………………………………………………… 2 Gothic tradition, Fiction and Victorian Gothic………………3 Gothic elements............................................................................4 Edgar Allan Poe………………………………………………...8 The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat……………………..10 William Wilson………………………………………………...13 The Fall of the House of Usher……………………………….15 The Cask of Amontillado……………………………………..16 Bibliography…………………………………………………...17
revealing recurring elements and components of this genre. That novel drew my attention to Poe’s literature and due to it I bought my first book in English: “Spirits of The Death: Tales and Poems”. the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty. At first it seemed hard to understand the language and also to read between the lines. step by step getting closer to some of Poe’s most famous gothic novels.” ” I would define.” (Edgar Allan Poe) The antecedents of choosing this particular topic go back far in the past. The paper also contains informations about Poe’s life and career. but as I continued to dig myself in into Poe’s world I realized that it is not that kind of horror that I was used to. Both genres have evolved entire spectacular cultures of their own. in brief. by Edgar Allan Poe. Firstly I will present the gothic tradition and fiction. Both “gothic” and “horror” have taken interesting forms during the years. 2 . when we learned about Poe’s “The Masque of The Red Death”. The gothic movement has come into a new existence in today’s society. and while some may find the movement disturbing and horrific.Introduction ”Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. In this paper I wanted to put in spotlight the gothic genre and Poe’s writings related to it. The first time I came into contact with Edgar Allan Poe at the Hungarian class. others find it beautiful and transcendent.
Storytelling throughout the ages has served two important functions: to create a communal. The Gothic building. partly what Virginia Woolf called “the strange human need for feeling afraid”. Gothic heroes and heroines are on their own. the vision of fallen man. old. stumbling alone. The point was to remove the reader from the ordinary. evoking a sense of awe. Other canonical texts include Vathek by William Beckford. in combination with many of the characteristics of the Romantic novel. unfamiliar. Fiction and Victorian Gothic Gothic fiction is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. The gothic novel. distinctive for its fascination with the horrible. everyday world of the normal and the familiar. Gothic fiction contains the tradition in a literary form. terror. emotional experience in the listeners and to impart strong moral lessons in an entertaining format. Psychologically the gothic novel is generally understood to serve a fundamental human need. obliged to find their own solutions or go under. the grotesque and the supernatural. How did this literary form come to be called “Gothic”? The connection is in the emphasis on emotion. mysterious was the perfect setting for a story intended to terrify or otherwise overwhelm the reader. vulnerability.Gothic tradition. This novel set the standard for all other gothic novels to follow. 3 . As a genre it is generally believed to be invented by the English author Horace Walpole. with his 1764 novel: The Castle of Otranto. was (and still is) seen by some critics as a sub-genre of Romanticism. The Monk by Matthews Lewis and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. the repellent. The Gothic world is the fallen world. living in fear and alienation. Gothic art and architecture was intended to have a magical or preternatural effect on the viewer.
secret rooms. it may portend his death. claustrophobia. In some works. such as unknown parentage. Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events. partial. The action takes place in and around an old castle. sustained close ups during movement. Elements 3. Setting in a castle. An ancient prophecy is connected with the castle or its inhabitants (either former or present). A character may have a disturbing dream vision. a disappearance. the events are ultimately given a natural explanation. portents. and darkness or shadows create the same sense of claustrophobia and entrapment. For example. Dramatic. the setting might be in an old house or mansion--or even a new house--where unusual camera angles. which lend their own haunting flavor with their branchings. a character might see something (a shadowy figure stabbing another shadowy figure) and think that it was a dream. dark or hidden staircases. 4 . while in others the events are truly supernatural. in modern filmmaking. An atmosphere of mystery and suspense. The prophecy is usually obscure. "What could it mean?" In more watered down modern examples. Omens. sometimes seemingly abandoned. such as ghosts or giants walking. or confusing. trap doors. or some phenomenon may be seen as a portent of coming events. In modern fiction. visions. The castle may be near or connected to caves. or inanimate objects (such as a suit of armor or painting) coming to life. Often the plot itself is built around a mystery. (Translated into modern filmmaking. and 5 below contribute to this atmosphere." 5. a fear enhanced by the unknown. amazing events occur." 4. sometimes occupied. this may amount to merely a legend: "It's said that the ghost of old man Krebs still wanders these halls. and possibly ruined sections. 4. or some other inexplicable event. and mystery.) 2. if the statue of the lord of the manor falls over.) 3. The work is pervaded by a threatening feeling.Gothic elements A gothic novel can be identified by knowing the elements which it consists of: 1. The castle often contains secret passages. (Again. This might be thought of as an "imitation vision. the inexplicable events are often murders.
The woman may be commanded to marry someone she does not love (it may even be the powerful male himself). so we often notice that it is raining in funeral scenes. The narration may be highly sentimental. the female characters often face events that leave them fainting. screaming is common. to demand that one or more of the female characters do something intolerable. and especially. especially howling doors grating on rusty hinges footsteps approaching lights in abandoned rooms characters trapped in a room ruins of buildings thunder and lightning rain. danger. eerie sounds clanking chains gusts of wind blowing out lights doors suddenly slamming shut baying of distant dogs (or wolves?) crazed laughter 10. Note that the following metonymies for "doom and gloom" all suggest some element of mystery. pensive. As an appeal to the pathos and sympathy of the reader. In the filmed gothic. howls. For example. Breathlessness and panic are common. moans. and the characters are often overcome by anger. or commit a crime. terrified. The constant use of the appropriate vocabulary set creates the atmosphere of the gothic. or guardian. lord of the manor. left alone (either on purpose or by accident). and oppressed heroine is often the central figure of the novel. and/or sobbing. especially blowing sighs. Women in distress. in which something (like rain) is used to stand for something else (like sorrow). or the supernatural. tyrannical male. 5 . Metonymy is a subtype of metaphor. 9. as king. sorrow. screaming. terror. 7. Women threatened by a powerful. impulsive. The metonymy of gloom and horror. A lonely.6. so her sufferings are even more pronounced and the focus of attention. The vocabulary of the gothic. and have no protector at times. father. One or more male characters has the power. even overwrought emotion. surprise. The women suffer all the more because they are often abandoned. wind. High. 8. Characters suffer from raw nerves and a feeling of impending doom. Crying and emotional speeches are frequent. the film industry likes to use metonymy as a quick shorthand.
Elements of romance include these: 1. angrily. Later. furious. What is the beloved thinking? Is the lover's love returned or not? 3. shocking. gigantic. affliction. choler. prophecy. miserable. horrid. frightened. hastened. tremendous. enchantment. frantic. Someone loves in vain (at least temporarily). necromancer. flight. goblins. Heart stirring. thunderstruck. large. Many times this love is the first the character has felt with this overwhelming power. giant. fury. frantic. impatiently. melancholy. dreading. surprise. sorcerer. wretched Surprise Haste alarm. apprehensions. impatience. dread. suddenly anger. agony. many gothic novels contain elements of romance as well. hastily. strangeness. raving. concern. prodigy. Terror. astonishment. lamentable. Uncertainty of reciprocation. amazement. often sudden. the love may be returned. emotions create a life or death commitment. astonished. portent. Powerful love. incense. running. mournfully. preternatural. rage. secret. anguish. magician. scared. hopeless. terror. magic. miracle. fearing. fright. horror. breathless. sudden. precipitately. afflicted. spectre. haunted. 6 . enraged. wrathful. Sorrow dismay. or apprehensive. wrathfully enormous. unhappy. ghost. omens. shrieks. sympathy. commiseration. dreaded. spirits. despair. vision Fear. terrible. wrath. dismal. panic. grief. sorrow. impetuosity. ominous. incensed. vast Anger Largeness Elements of Romance In addition to the standard gothic machinery above. 2. impatient. surprised. provoked. temper. terrified. infernal.Mystery diabolical. Unreturned love. sadly. tears. resentment. staring. wonder anxious. talisman.
geographically or in some other way. or sometimes. or choice. Illicit love or lust threatens the virtuous one. disappears without explanation. 7 . Most often. Tension between true love and father's control. the father of the woman disapproves of the man she loves. Some obstacle arises and separates the lovers. One of the lovers (or even both) can have more than one person vying for affection. Lovers parted. Or. One of the lovers is banished. an explanation may be given (by the person opposing the lovers' being together) that later turns out to be false. Rival lovers or multiple suitors.4. 7. forced to flee. 5. arrested. 6. locked in a dungeon. The young woman becomes a target of some evil man's desires and schemes. disapproval.
Massachusetts. Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world. 8 . Poe's publishing career began humbly. as well as in specialized fields. such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe published his poem "The Raven" to instant success. with an anonymous collection of poems. His work forced him to move between several cities. 1849. and New York City. music. though he died before it could be produced. 1849) was an American writer. In Baltimore in 1835. Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. of Richmond. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan. On October 7. poet. In January 1845. Genres Poe's best known fiction works are Gothic. heart disease. and television. He was the first wellknown American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone. Poe died in Baltimore. Philadelphia. drugs. his parents died when he was young. 1809 – October 7. the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol. His most recurring themes deal with questions of death. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He began planning to produce his own journal. Poe parted ways with the Allans. and is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today. After spending a short period at the University of Virginia and briefly attempting a military career. rabies. editor and literary critic. He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston. including Baltimore. The Penn (later renamed The Stylus). but they never formally adopted him. Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827). Virginia. becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals. suicide. and other agents.Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe (January 19. films. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature. his 13-year-old cousin. brain congestion. tuberculosis. a genre he followed to appease the public taste. at age 40. His wife died of tuberculosis two years later. he married Virginia Clemm. cholera. credited only to "a Bostonian". Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre.
and hoaxes. Poe also reinvented science fiction. responding in his writing to emerging technologies such as hot air balloons in "The Balloon-Hoax". the first story that Poe is known to have published. a literary reaction to transcendentalism. and his first foray into horror. humor tales. Poe also wrote satires. "Metzengerstein". was originally intended as a burlesque satirizing the popular genre. Many of his works are generally considered part of the dark romanticism genre. concerns of premature burial. 9 . the effects of decomposition. To that end. which Poe strongly disliked. he used irony and ludicrous extravagance. lapsing into "obscurity for obscurity's sake" or "mysticism for mysticism's sake.including its physical signs." Beyond horror. often in an attempt to liberate the reader from cultural conformity. He referred to followers of the movement as "Frogpondians" after the pond on Boston Common and ridiculed their writings as "metaphor-run". his fiction often included elements of popular pseudosciences such as phrenology and physiognomy. and mourning. For comic effect. In fact. the reanimation of the dead. Poe wrote much of his work using themes specifically catered for mass market tastes.
but they do have some significant differences. who is never named or described fully. a clarity which obscures the meaning of the act and questions the emotional stability of the unnamed narrator. who is also never identified. The murder of the old man and its consequence. The plot of the story concerns the “murder aforethought” of an old man. he confesses to the crime. with madness. The narrator decides to rid himself of this eye by killing the old man. and with troubled human relationships all appear in “The Tell-Tale Heart”.The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat The analyses of two tales and their comparison can offer a good basis to talk about Gothic elements. The story is driven not by the narrator’s insistence upon his innocence but by insistence of his sanity. These two stories in particular have many things in common related to technique. The two short stories that I have chosen by Edgar Allan Poe are The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat. Poe’s preoccupation with death. Although the narrator takes pride in his calm comportment toward the officers as they stand above the hiding spot. At this point the narrative abruptly ends. the circumstances of the confession of this crime are never described. The first word of the story. The same night he dismembers the body and hides it beneath the floorboards of the man’s room. he complains that “one of his eyes resembled that of a vulture-a pale blue eye. Soon after. This is accomplished after seven nights of creeping into the man’s room in order to see if the offending eye is open. three police officers arrive. by the narrator. with a film over it”. This reticence is typical for the gothic stories and helps in creating the atmosphere. It is only on the eight night that the old man opens his eyes and the crime is committed. The story starts in medias res. In rage and desperation. Its narration is retrospective but unlocated. “True!” is an admission of his guilt. only after then compare them. convinced that the police officers also hear the noise. This is self-destructive because in attempting to prove his sanity he admits he is guilty 10 . The sequence of events is simple: the narrator is disturbed by the eye of an old man. in the middle of an event. which form the center of the story. Firstly I would like to analyze the two tales separately. he discerns a noise that he identifies as the heartbeat of the man. are told with clarity.
The first cat was named Pluto. The eye may represent secrecy. The narrator’s wife is a classic gothic female. Another difference in technique that Poe uses is the way that the anger is placed. The setting is another important Gothic convention. Only when the eye is finally found open the murder is carried out. a perfect gothic setting. Using the analyses written. However. In “The Black Cat” the reader finds out the ending of the story in the traditional format. gloomy. mentioning differences and similarities too. but also to emphasis the madness of his narrator and the evil actions performed. Po’s narrator suffers from the devilish effects of alcoholism. The cellar is dark. he says “the idea of murder haunted me day and night”. The focus of the story is the perverse scheme to commit the perfect crime. Trough his symbolic character of the black cat. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” the main character’s anger is placed on the 11 . Plays an important role: to establish Poe’s idea of creating a dark. Poe has written a highly Gothic tale. more irritable”. This complete loss of sense and control is often used in Gothic novels. Passion there was none”. The relationship between the old man and the narrator is ambiguous.of murder. The use of symbols and omens in this novel is unique to the Gothic genre. He claims: “Object there was none. this means that he lacked motivation. The title is symbolic itself as a black cat often carries the superstitious belief that they are evil and symbolize death. When he became addicted to alcohol he became “moody. his nerves dictate his true nature. Trough the use of Gothic devices. evident in Poe’s “The Black Cat”. a long suffering wife who is eventually destroyed by the husband. the two tales can be compared. an allusion to the god of the dead and ruler of the underworld in Roman mythology. leading him to murder his wife. The dark environment convinces the reader that the narrator is insane as well as his actions and sense of accomplishment. Despite this. in “The Tell-Tale Heart” the reader knows the ending at the very beginning of the tale. This atmosphere makes the reader feel scared. Like many characters in the gothic tradition. The story’s final scene is a result of the narrator’s feelings of guilt. His denial of insanity is based on his systematic actions and precision-a rational explanation for irrational behavior. a dark tavern and a cellar. The story takes place in a house burned to the ground. which continually punishes the narrator because of his actions. such as setting. Poe has used the Gothic genre to convey one of his main purposes of exploring superstitious beliefs and omens. at the end. Both cats in the short-story are symbols of punishment for the narrator. One of the main differences between these two stories is the way in which the reader finds out the ending of the stories. highly gothic novel. omens and symbols. Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events are also elements of the Gothic novel.
This gives the reader a quick overview of who the story is about and where they are coming from. Fear is the most powerful of all the techniques Poe uses. The end of each one is twisted. Fear. Poe makes the end shocking. and both of the characters incriminate themselves. The short stories have many things in common. The two stories are told in first person. such as anger. A key feature is the beginning of both stories: they both open with the main character giving an update of their life. high emotions control the character. sorrow. but in “The Black Cat” the main character chooses to displace his anger on to an animal.direct object of which he has problem with. 12 . terror or sorrow are also characteristics of the gothic genre. surprise and especially terror. They both are the same types of scary twisted stories.
denouncing his immoral past. gradually becoming more vicious. Wilson’s boyhood is described. apparently the dead double and the narrator feels as if he is pronouncing the words: “In me didst thou exist-and in my death.William Wilson The French structuralist critic Tzvetan Todorov has divided supernatural tales into three categories: the marvelous. steals money from a nobleman. but with features all pale and dabbled in blood”. Todorov conceded that there are borderline works which must be categorized as “fantastic-uncanny” or “fantastic-marvelous”. with many paths and rooms. rambling Elizabethan” schoolhouse. One important gothic element is the doppelganger (comes from German. this setting is a gothic element. At each stage. in which no rational explanation of the supernatural phenomena is possible. William describes meeting another boy. which is also a gothic setting. it refers to any double or look-alike of a person). The gothic elements in this story are important to the structure and creation of the theme. Edgar Allan Poe’s “William Wilson” is such a work. 13 . After the last of these incidents. in which it is.The other William represented his only competition in sport and popularity. One night he went into the other William’s bedroom and saw that the boy’s face had suddenly become exactly like his own. seduces a married woman. and leaves. in which the narrative hesitates between a natural and a supernatural explanation. The house was huge. The boy gradually imitates William’s dress and talk. another one is the chase between the two William Wilsons. the uncanny. although he could only speak in a whisper. After several paragraphs. his double eventually appears. at a ball in Rome. whispers a few words to alert others on William’s behavior. and the fantastic. similar to the castle. and who was even born on the same date: January 19 (which was also Poe’s birthday). William left the academy immediately. a man of “a noble descent” who calls himself William Wilson. showing “mine own image. William eventually attends Eton and Oxford. which was spent in a “large. William drags his double into a chamber and stabs him fatally. After he does this a large mirror suddenly seems to appear. only to discover that his double left on the same day. The story begins with the narrator. roughly the same appearance. his face always covered. he imitates that whisper exactly.se how utterly thu hast murdered thyself”. who had the same name.
this second self haunts the protagonist and leads him to insanity.The setting of “William Wilson” is semi-autobiographical and relates to Poe’s residence in England as a boy. “William Wilson” clearly explores the theme of the double. is actually a pseudonym. The gothic elements in this story (the doppelganger and the chase) are key elements in supporting theme. This division of the self is reinforced by the narrator’s admission that W. 14 .W.
15 . the fragments sink into the tarn. a novel involving a knight who tries to escape from a storm. The doppelganger theme appears in “The Fall of the House of Usher”.The Fall of the House of Usher Poe’s intention when writing “The Fall of the House of Usher” was not to present a moral. death-like trances. this work has many characteristics of Romanticism. They inter her. sound. and claims that the sounds are made by his sister. Madeline. A storm begins. he looks back while running upon the house of Usher and watches it break in two. feelings of fear and guilt. who dies of his own terror. having received a letter from him complaining of an illness and asking for his comfort. who suffers from an unnamed disease. Usher becomes hysterical. haunted house. When the dragon from the novel is described a sound is heard in the house. hypochondria (excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness) and anxiety. illness. She falls violently on her brother. smells and tastes). The reflection of the house in the torn is described in the opening paragraph. All of the characters are linked to death. It is revealed that Usher’s twin sister. The gothic elements in this story are: the crumbling. The bedroom door is then blown open to reveal Madeline standing there. lesson or truth. The narrator flees the house. The guilt and fear center on Roderick Usher. Usher’s symptoms include hyperesthesia (extreme sensitivity to light. and that Usher in fact knew that. Life after death was the underlying meaning to this story. The narrator tries to calm Usher by reading “The mad Trist”. The tale opens with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his friend. Bringing up the symbols of death is a major part of this writing. is also ill and falls into cataleptic. falls into the Gothic category. who was in fact alive when she was entombed. Usher comes to the narrator’s room. Usher later informs the narrator that his sister died and insists that she be entombed for two weeks in a vault in the house before being buried. which is situated directly above the vault. but on the next few weeks both Usher and the narrator find themselves becoming increasingly agitated for no reason. Roderick Usher.
tone and feeling to emphasize revenge. suspense and mystery. setting. they notice that the “walls had been lined with human remains”. In the last few sentences Montresor reveals that it has been 50 years since the murder. to illustrate the dark feeling in the characters. which include macabre. he has never been caught. the antagonist. so he discreetly foreshadows what will happen to Fortunato. they observe the niter and cobwebs that drape the walls and the decayed bodies that surround them. plot and theme. As Montresor and Fortunato walk through the catacombs. and Fortunato’s body still hangs from its chains. When Montresor advises: “you are a man to be missed…we will go back. presents himself as an individual who seeks revenge and the immolation of Fortunato. As the pair progress through the catacomb. Montresor. with this description the reader waits for the moment when Montresor accomplishes his payback. “The Cask of Amontillado” contains gothic characteristics that create the perfect essence. The use of psychology throughout the story also plays a role in the gothic story’s topic. When they reach the end. the possessed protagonist. you will be ill and I cannot be responsible”. buries Fortunato behind a wall.The Cask of Amontillado In “The Cask of Amontillado”. who has injured Montresor in many ways. Montresor becomes from friend a murderer. unaware that hi is walking into a trap that will bring him to his death. One method of Gothic literature that Poe uses to improve the revenge theme is the use of mystery and suspense. Edgar Allan Poe uses gothic methods. 16 . Fortunato. unites with him in the catacombs to find the cask of Amontillado. and psychology. where he left it.
org/EdgarAllanPoe Ann B.com) The Gothic Literature Page by Franz Potter Martha Womack: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” 17 .wikipedia.virtualsalt.Bibliography • • • • • www. The Gothic Novel 1790-1830: Plot Summaries and Index Motifs Robert Harris: Elements of the Gothic Novel (www.Tracy.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.