Characteristics Of American Gothic Literature

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American Gothic Literature

American gothic literature is a genre that appears in western literature from novels and horrifying things. American gothic literature is packed full of images of Hell, devils and demons, and also full of magic and mystery. Gothic Literature shows the mixture of good and evil. “Gothic representations of extreme circumstances of terror, oppression and persecution, darkness and obscurity of setting, and innocence betrayed are considered to begin with Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto.” (Allan Lloyd- Smith P.3) Characteristics of American gothic Literature are the supernatural, mystery, and violence. Each characteristic can be broken down into several different categories for example the supernatural can
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“Doppelganger, defined by Frederick S. Frank.” (Gothic: Origin P.1) Doppelganger is a German word meaning look-alike. They can be a demonic form that often haunts and threatens the person to whom they are attached to. The Doppelganger may have the same name as well as features. The Doppelganger is used in literature to show it’s other self. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story William Wilson, the protagonist has a antagonist that is a ghostly double. In William Wilson the narrator is dying. He says, “Death approaches: and the shadow which forruns him has thrown a softening influence over my spirit.” (Poe P.1) As he sleeps while lying on his deathbed he has a dream like vision. In this vision he seen his Doppelganger and it was back in his school days. He had the same name as the narrator, and looked the same too. The narrator experienced a great embarrassment, and fears his Doppelganger. He didn’t think his alter ego was connected with his family. He thought if they was family they would be brothers. The narrator was furious with his having the same name because he was a stranger. A name was not the only thing that was the same, but also their height and age was the same too. His alter ego was perfect at playing his part imitating the narrator.He was the protagonist’s antagonist, and did not speak in a whisper anymore. He said, “You have conquered. and I yield. Yet, henceforward art …show more content…
There are many themes in violence, one of consist of murders. Three murder stories that emerged in the nineteenth century was domestic murder, insane murder, and sexual murder. Domestic murder can be of a spouse, child or even when the head of family murders the entire family then killing themselves. These stories often told of a family that had problems. As a reader you would always care for one or more of the characters. Then only for one or more of them to die. Insane murders have no motive behind them. They are either committed by someone legally insane or someone temporarily insane. They are not understood by the normal mind. You can not wrap your mind around why someone would do something so horrible. Then there are sexual murders,are fueled by the desire to have something you can’t have. Wanting power of another human being. Some start as just not intently wanting to harm someone. But, when the other person does not have the same feeling anger takes over and one thing leads to the other. Murder usually begins with fear, hatred, and disgust. Fear can be overpowering. When someone is scared this can cause them to do things they normally would not do. Hating someone so much that you want to physically harm them is real hate that can lead to disgust for that person. Disgust is just a feeling that you get about a person that could lead to you doing things you would not do. Rage builds in people which causes the

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