Gothic Literature

One of the genres of literature that has fascinated me the most over the years is gothic literature.  So many of its elements I find beautiful and worth discussing.  An obvious element is the use of human psychology.  The mind is constantly delved into, revealing all the horrifying and dark realities of our musings.  This is especially important in how the characters interact with one another and how the plot plays out throughout the story.  Another important element is the use of dark settings.  These places can include graveyards, castles, haunted houses, and creepy working environments, among others.  The darkness exemplifies the troubled emotions and experiences we all go through at times.  The element of strong female protagonists is quite important as well.  These determined women portray a steadfastness that most would look up to and respect.  With their actions and choices, they lead the plot into an exciting and enlightening climax, paralleling the adventures we face in our lives.  Having to choose between a dark and brooding male character or a seemingly normal and conventional character is often another element in this kind of literature.  Of course, elements such as surprise twists, evil presences, the supernatural, and despair also tend to play an important role in gothic literature as well.  These elements demonstrate a reaction against the seemingly conventional wisdom and expectations in society.  In this respect, gothic literature is indeed much like romantic literature, striving to “get away” from the ordinary and embrace the sublime.

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