American Gothic Literature Essay

1173 Words Jul 13th, 2011 5 Pages
American Gothic Literature

1. The Adventure of The German Student / Washington Irving
The Adventure of The German Student consists a few of the elements which compile Gothic stories. This story tells the happenings of a young German student, Gottfried Wolfgang. Wolfgang is described as a man of good family, but also as a person who is intensely immersed in the mystical side of existence. As a student, he dedicated himself to his studies, until both his physical health and imagination have become "diseased" ("he took up a notion, I do not know from what cause, that there was an evil influence hanging over him"). His family and friends, who watched him get melancholy and morbidly obsessed with the dark side, decided to send him to
…show more content…
Then, he explains that the rationale behind his actions is only the fact he couldn't stand the sight of the man's eye staring at him; hence, he decides to get rid of it so he would no longer have to see it. In the week before the murder the narrator is very nice to the old man, but every night around midnight he sneaks into the old man's room, with great caution, and shines the lantern light on the man's eye. Yet, the eye was always closed, so the narrator, who just wants to get rid of the eye, never tries to kill him. The quote refers to the eighth night. In that particular night, the narrator is not cautious enough, and when he enters the room his thumb slips on the lantern fastening and the noise wakes the old man. The narrator decides not to move a muscle, but the old man doesn't go back to sleep (he sensed there is someone present in the room). Finally, the narrator decides to slowly open the lantern until the light directly shines on the old man's eye. This time, the eye is wide open, and the narrator's nerves are starting to wreck until he strangles the old man under his bed. The quote itself can be considered to be some kind of a turning point of the story. Up until that night, the narrator claimed he is not insane and only wants to get rid of the eye (not the old man himself). But after his plans went wrong, he loses his mind and kills him; an action which proves the reader that he is definitely

Related Documents