Gothic Elements In Literature

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Gothic elements are used exquisitely and meticulously in gothic-era short stories to captivate the type of mood the author is portraying for the reader. Examples of this are exemplified in: “The Devil and Tom Walker” by: Washington Irving, “The Feather Pillow” by: Horacio Quiroga, “A Rose for Emily” by: William Faulkner, “The Black Cat” by: Edgar Allan Poe, “Prey” by: Richard Matheson, and “The Raven” by: Edgar Allan Poe. Specifically, are significant because they utilize ambiguity and entrapment – both primary elements commonly used in this type of literature. Authors use core gothic elements, especially the ones listed above, because the feeling the author is attempting to strike into the reader, is one that he has either experienced himself …show more content…
A slave to time and other beings in nature is a fear held by most humans. The fight or flight response is innate for this very purpose: so one might stay in control of their fate – to not be trapped in a place from which they have no escape. In “The Black Cat” by: Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator began to grow a heavy dread for the cat that had come to replace Pluto because it followed him everywhere and he was “almost ashamed to own [it]”(Poe 3). The cat seemed to be inescapable due to its tendency to cling to its master; as a result, the master hated it even more because he could not escape it. To most, a loving cat is not something that would cause any harm; however, to the narrator, the cat has been loving him a little too much and is identical to his previous cat. The mental trauma brewed by this made the narrator want to escape it. The audience might share the feeling of entrapment with the narrator because something that is following you that you cannot escape from will strike fear into anyone. Moreover, while attempting to escape a haunted doll, the narrator of “Prey” by: Richard Matheson goes to lock herself in the bathroom, “”No,” she muttered. She was trapped. “Oh, God””(Matheson 6). The narrator of the second story shares the same feeling of entrapment except on a larger scale because a haunted doll that wants to kill her is chasing her. When someone is trapped, they do not have control over the situation, so the upper hand and possibly her fate goes into the hands of, in this case, the doll. The audience while reading this feels the degree of adrenaline and fear the narrator has because of the ability to insert themselves into the same situation. Similarly, in the “Feather Pillow” by: Horacio Quiroga, the wife “on waking [] always felt as though a million kilos were pinning her to the bed” captivates her weakness

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