Bram Stocker's "Dracula".

Essay by ssj4jin June 2003

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The Gothic mode? What pops up in your mind when you hear those words? Perhaps it?s a black-dressing rock star, perhaps it?s a devil-worshipping teenager wearing white make-up, or maybe it?s a movie you have seen or a book you have read that you thought different from everything else that you?ve seen before. In that case, you are closest to the truth. Good morning or afternoon, listener. So, what IS the gothic mode? To answer this very generalising question, you first have to think back to your experiences with the gothic genre and think of the characteristics associated with it, explore these characteristics and think about how did the gothic genre appeal to the audience it was written for, the people of the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the 18th and beginning 19th centuries, another genre dominated the literature. The roman or romance was the mainstream tendency in those books.

These stories featured a love theme, and usually had a brave hero rescue the damsel in distress. The gothic genre came as a rebellion to the romance, and instantly captured the readers of the time in its terrifying plots and horrific scenes. It has been proven that the human nature likes to be scared, thus the horror movies and the scary theme park rides, and that is exactly what the gothic mode had to offer to the readers, a scare, something new and unusual that so attracted the reader to the story. Times and technology changes over time, but human nature remains the same, there will always be greed, love and hope, and there will always be that inside desire to be scared. Perhaps that is why gothic literature is still alive today, people want to be scared, and books are released and movies are made using the gothic genre.