Gothic Literature in America. Looks specifically at Edgar Allen Poe's Tell Tale Heart.

Essay by wburns42University, Bachelor'sA, November 2004

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Gothic Literature

Gothic, Romantic, and Enlightenment periods are all have differences in the way the author writes. Gothic writing however, is a major shift in how a person looks at the human race and its qualities. A dictionary definition of Gothic states that it is "an artistic style or movement of the 18th and 19th centuries inspired by and imitative of the Gothic style especially in architecture "[]. My definition of Gothic writing is a style of writing popular in the late 18th century which produced stories set in lonely frightening places with ruined castles, haunted graveyards, eerie noises, and other things of this nature. Gothic literature also tries to play on paranoia and the "dark side" of the mind (evil things such as the old man's eye).

Gothic literature was born in 1764 when Horace Walpole published The Castle of Otranto[], which is considered to be the first gothic novel ever written.

Many gothic writers were to come after him. Most notably, Edgar Allen Poe. Gothic literature was originally written as a reaction to the age of reason, order, and the politics of eighteenth-century England. Containing anti-Catholic sentiments and mythical aspects, Gothic literature explored the tension between what we fear and what we desire. The stories were usually set in some kind of castle or old building that showed human decay and created an atmosphere of mystery and suspense. The words chosen in these novels and short stories were very descriptive, creating emotion and often, feelings of gloom and horror. Also, within the plot, some sort of ancient prophecy, along with omens, visions, and death could usually be found. The most important elements to the structure of gothic literature, however, are supernatural and unexplainable events. Supernatural and unexplainable events are very important to the plot of a gothic...