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What could be termed "Gothic" about the stories of Edgar Allan Poe?

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Introduction

What could be termed "Gothic" about the stories of Edgar Allan Poe? Gothic literature applies to the type of story that was being developed during the Victorian era (the 19th century). Most Victorians had a taste for this type of literature and more and more writers kept starting to write in this genre. Edgar Allan Poe tapped into to other writers' works such as Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. Gothic was started off by people linking emotions and feelings to gothic architecture (both intact and ruined buildings). Gothic stories means those concerned with the dark side of living. They include darkness, obsession, torture, being buried alive, life after death, brutal violence, murder, insanity, the super-natural, revenge, suspense, reincarnation and superstition. All of these are very horrible nasty and gloomy events that can happen; some are more horrible than others. Life after death is impossible and exploring this supernatural theme, is gothic itself. I am now going to talk about the story called the Black Cat. This is the story of someone who, for some reason, gets really annoyed with his cat. It says, "The fury of a demon instantly possessed me" which is a metaphor to describe how enraged he gets suddenly. This is gothic because he believes that that an evil spirit has actually got inside him. His anger is unnecessarily violent which is also gothic. ...read more.

Middle

He says that he is guilty and keeps giving clues to the police as to where he hid his wife. For example, he says, "these walls were solidly put together," to them. This is suspense which is another Gothic element. The reader is very curious as to know; will he eventually tell the police where the body has been hidden? Will the police found the body themselves, or not? Or will something else happen? But what really happens is unexpected and thus gothic. The wall containing his wife's body collapses and what can be seen is the cat on top of the corpse, which the police can see. The cat has now taken revenge on the narrator which is a gothic theme. The cat has helped reveal the wife's body to the police so they can now arrest him for murder of his wife; as a consequence, shall be hanged as punishment. This is exactly what the narrator did to the first cat. What is also gothic is that how did the cat have the intelligence to show the police the wife's body? Cats in Victorian times were believed to have some magical powers and this cat has used his very secretly, to get revenge on the narrator. The story of the Tell-Tale Heart starts off by the narrator being obsessed with someone's eye which is gothic. ...read more.

Conclusion

This, again, proves the reader is insane - also gothic. He's probably so insane because of the guilt he had after killing the man for no good reason. His obsession has lead to his insanity. He's so certain that it's the man's heart beating (even though it can't be because he chopped his body up) that he admits to the police he killed them. He says, "Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! Here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!" He is so insane that he's convinces himself the man's still alive and because he's now revealed to the police where the body is, he will now be hanged as punishment for murder. Hideous heart is alliteration and has been forced to admit it was pointless being obsessed with that man's heart. This is also gothic because it could be seen as the dead man getting symbolic revenge on the narrator. I believe this because the guilty conscience that the narrator had after killing the man, meant that he went insane, felt his heart beating which is a sign of life, and then revealing what he's done to the police, to which he shall be hanged for. These two stories are clearly both gothic because they both involve pointless and unprovoked murder and they also involve the narrator, for some reason, both attacking people's eyes, both of which is motivated by their insanity. In addition, the mood of the stories is very oppressive and is full of depressive events. ?? ?? ?? ?? Bruce Weir 11B ...read more.

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