It is possible to characterize Gothic literature as writing that makes use of gloomy and scenic settings, narrative tactics that are shocking and melodramatic, and an overall sense of exoticism, mystery, horror, and dread. This is the broadest definition possible of Gothic literature characteristics. A vast, old home that either harbors a dreadful secret or acts as the safe haven for an extremely frightening and menacing character will frequently serve as the focal point of a Gothic novel or narrative.
In spite of the fact that this gloomy motif is employed rather frequently in Gothic literature characteristics, authors of the genre have also included supernatural aspects, hints of romance, well-known historical characters, as well as travel and adventure storylines to keep their readers entertained. The style is a subgenre of Romantic literature — that’s Romantic the period, not romance books with impassioned lovers with wind-swept hair on their paperback covers — and it is the literary ancestor of a significant portion of the fiction written in modern times.
What Are The Gothic Writing Styles
The phrase “Gothic fiction” refers to a genre of literature that combines romantic themes like nature, individualism, and intense emotion with aspects of fear, horror, death, and melancholy. These feelings may include terror and tension.
There is no question that the atmosphere is one of fear, as well as psychological and internal issues that do not have any resolutions. The characters are often odd, ambiguous, mysterious, troubled, and submissive when it comes to powerful impulses or love disputes.
What Three Traits Distinguish Gothic Writing
Dark, ominous, and enigmatic, this genre frequently incorporates themes of terror, horror, the macabre, and the odd. Power, captivity, and isolation are typical Gothic themes and concepts.
The majority of them take place during the Middle Ages or the nineteenth century because the former is seen as the most troubled time period in history, and the latter is thought to be more “bourgeois.” The settings are frequently locations such as castles, monasteries, churches, or abbeys; as a result, the film has a prominent religious undercurrent (especially one that is critical of the Catholic religion and church, with a bias towards Protestantism in the majority of cases).
In the modern gothic, it is possible for it to be contaminated by elements of other genres, such as the thriller, the supernatural, the psychological, and the fantasy.
The Evolving Nature of the Genre
The Romantic era in Britain is considered to be the birthplace of Gothic literature. “When he used the word, it meant something like ‘barbarous,’ as well as ‘deriving from the Middle Ages,'” says the subtitle of Horace Walpole’s story “The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story,” which was published in 1765 under the title “The Gothic Story.” This was the first time the term “Gothic” was used in reference to literature. The reader is led to believe in the book that the tale is an old one that was only very recently rediscovered. But this is only a small portion of the story.
But, the supernatural aspects of the novel were the impetus for the creation of an entirely new genre, which became popular in Europe. Later, in the middle of the 1800s, an American author named Edgar Allan Poe got his hands on it, and he achieved unprecedented levels of success with it. He found a home for his investigations into psychological trauma, the depravities of man, and mental sickness in the canon of Gothic literature Characteristics. Every zombie fiction, every detective story, and every Stephen King novel written in the modern day owes a tribute to Poe. Although there may have been other great writers in the Gothic genre before and after him, none of them came close to Poe in terms of perfecting the genre.
Notable Authors of the Gothic Genre
Authors like Horace Walpole (The Castle of Otranto, published in 1765), Ann Radcliffe (Mysteries of Udolpho, published in 1794), Matthew Lewis (The Monk, published in 1796), and Charles Brockden Brown were among the most important and well-known 18th-century Gothic authors (Wieland, 1798).
The Gothic subgenre continued to attract a large number of readers well into the 19th century. Initially, Romantic authors such as Sir Walter Scott (The Tapestried Chamber, 1829) adopted Gothic conventions. Subsequently, Victorian authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1886) and Bram Stoker (Dracula, 1897) incorporated Gothic motifs into their tales of horror and suspense.
Several of the works that are considered to be canonical examples of 19th-century literature, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables (1851), Charlotte Bront’s Jane Eyre (1847), Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831 in French), and many of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales, including “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1843).
A Significant Impact on Contemporary Fiction
Today, ghost and horror stories, detective fiction, suspense and thriller books, and other contemporary styles that stress mystery, shock, and sensation have taken the place of Gothic literature. The Gothic genre was appropriated and reworked by novelists and poets who, on the whole, cannot be precisely defined as Gothic writers. While each of these genres is (at least roughly) indebted to Gothic fiction, the Gothic genre was also appropriated and reworked by other authors.
In her novel Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen tenderly portrayed the misconceptions and immaturities that might be the result of a misreading of Gothic literature Characteristics. Northanger Abbey was set in the English countryside. In non-traditional stories like “The Sound and the Fury” and “Absalom, Absalom!,” authors take risks with their storytelling. The American South became the setting for William Faulkner’s exploration of Gothic themes such as foreboding mansions, family mysteries, and fatal romantic endeavors. And in his multigenerational chronicle One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Márquez weaves a violent and hallucinatory story around a family house that takes on a sinister life of its own. The novel is titled One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Similarities to the Architecture of the Gothic Style
There are significant connections between Gothic literature and Gothic architecture, however, these relationships are not always compatible with one another. Gothic architecture, with its plethora of carvings, gaps, and shadows, is capable of evoking an air of mystique and gloom, and as a result, it has frequently been utilized as an ideal setting in Gothic literature for the mood that has been conjured up there. Several gothic authors even dabbled in architecture, which may have contributed to the tendency of gothic writers to foster certain emotional effects in their writings. Horace Walpole was also responsible for the design of Strawberry Hill, a fanciful Gothic mansion that resembles a castle. If you’re living in Chicago, then must pay a visit to Chicago Suicide Club.