1. Female Gothic= The Female Gothic, as opposed to the Male Gothic, centers itself upon female heroines. Having been written by female authors, this genre highly reflects a struggle for sexual and political rights. The Female Gothic does still contain male characters; however, they are seen as antagonist figures who attempt to usurp power.
2. Male Gothic= The Male Gothic centers itself upon troubled images of masculinity. Instead of having strong and masculine male characters, those characters are feminized. This is seen in the Gothic short story “The Magic Mirror”, where Francis’ insecurities with love lead him into temptation, and later self-destruction.
3. Novel= The novel is truly the medium in which the Gothic tradition allows itself to transform. Beginning with Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, the novel begins to truly serve as a useful structure. Within a novel, readers are introduced to gender norms, class structures, and character development. With the transition to short stories, the attention to detail begins to falter and readers lose the the depth of the story.
4.Media= There are many different forms of media used throughout all the texts, from newspapers and telegrams in Dracula to music and journals with American Psycho. By using different forms of media to tell a story it adds to the readers experience, being able to piece together the clues along with the characters builds a deeper connection to these characters. The different media used in the texts also date, and time stamp those novels. Dracula is set in the late 1800’s, because of the use of the telegram. American Psycho is set in the 1980’s it is easy to see due to the musical references, Bono and Genesis.
5 In Medias Res= Simply put this means that the reader is placed in the middle of the action, there is no backstory, the characters exist and the events are occurring. The best example of this in our text is American Psycho, we are just dropped in the story. We as an audience have no idea how Patrick Bateman has gotten to where he is, or why he is doing what he is doing, we just know that he is clinically insane. Obviously the short story lends itself to this aspect of of the genre, with a limited time and space, the authors utilize this method in order to drive the plot forward.
6.Tabula Rasa= Introduced by John Locke, the idea of the clean state at birth is used most prevalently in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. With the introduction of the creature, Shelley makes the creature completely unaware of the world in which he lives. Teaching himself to read through Paradise Lost in order to gain a sense of his surroundings.
7. Orientalism= Introduced by Edward Said and also written about in Linda Nochlin’s The Imaginary Orient. It is the idealized portrayal of Eastern, “exotic” cultures by the West in literature and art. Usually, it reinforces negative stereotypes and depicts the East as barbaric and promotes the West. This concept is seen in Bram Stoker’s Dracula since the vampire comes from the exotic East and is depicted as violating the West once he shows up in England. By the end of the novel, it is the Westerners that triumph over the vampire.
8. Setting – the castle= The Gothic Novel is an architectural genre that relies on the medieval architecture of the middle ages, such as castles or cathedrals or cemeteries. Even in more modern forms of the literature, the “castle” is depicted through the use of the haunted house (mostly because Americans don’t have castles). Essentially, when Horace Walpole wrote The Castle of Otranto, England was going through a time period known as the “Gothic Revival” and it was vital to the creation of this form of literature. The castle in Walpole’s novel is used as a tool to drive the plot since the architecture embodies the curse on Manfred’s family and it houses supernatural events throughout the text. In Stoker’s Dracula, the castle is used to house the vampire in a similar way and it represents an architectural nexus to the past. The Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining may not be a literal castle, but it also has the same approach.
9. Romanticism= the literary period that begins towards the end of the 18th Century after Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto and lasts through the 19th Century. This period is known to include poets like Byron, Coleridge, Keats, and Percy Shelley. In essence, this movement refers to picturesque settings to portray the exotic as well as horror and terror which is seen in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein when Victor ends up in the arctic.
10. Divine Power= this element has a lot to do with the apparitions and supernatural powers that are often portrayed in the Gothic genre. On the other hand, they are also used as tools against evil like in Stoker’s Dracula where crucifixes, holy water, and blessed wafers become weapons against the vampire. However, there seems to be a lack of this element in Ellis’ American Psycho which adds to the terrifying aspect of the novel since Pat Bateman’s behavior is not supernatural or godlike – he is completely human just like the rest of us and he is capable of doing terrible things like the rest of us.
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