Essay On Gothic Literature

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Gothic literature brings to life the darker side of tragedies by creating an atmosphere of horror and suspense as well as embodying supernatural affairs to the plot. Gothic fiction also considers the motif of the inevitability of fate. Horace Walpole surfaced this style of fiction in the mid 1700s with the novel, The Castle of Otranto. His story concerns all the elements that constitute Gothic literature. The term originated as an expression criticizing the art and architecture of the time, which was decaying, dark, and dismal. At the end of the Victorian period, when Oscar Wilde wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray, the golden times of Gothic Fiction had already passed. It was rather a curious revival of the Gothic genre; the novel stirred the …show more content…
Gothic novels often accommodate a character that has foreboding visions and hallucinations. After Dorian Gray fainted, “a thrill of terror ran through him when he remembered that, pressed against the window of the conservatory, like a white handkerchief, he had seen the face of James Vane watching him.” (Wilde 204). Wilde uses the element of hallucinations to accentuate the Gothic genre of the novel. Wilde continues to demonstrate the Gothic aura through spine-chilling language. When Dorian visits an opium den, “a cold rain begins to fall, and the blurred street-lamps look ghastly in the dripping mist… From some of the bars comes the sound of a horrible laughter. In others drunkards brawl and scream.” (Wilde 189). Wilde uses this Gothic setting to emphasize an atmosphere of mystery and increasing intensity. Gothic novels are foremost set in old abandoned castles that contain secret passages, rooms, and hidden staircases. Dorian Gray lives alone in a mansion with a “secret room” that would “keep for him the curious secret of his life and hide his soul from the eyes of men.” (Wilde 124). The mystery of this abandoned room that “holds his soul” builds a sense of claustrophobia and entrapment. Wilde’s objective of the dismal and cryptic setting is to establish an impression of anxiety and dread, adding to the atmospheric element of

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