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5 Gothic stories- The Tell Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, The Cask of Amontillado, Frankenstein Chapter 3

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Introduction

Rakeshdeep Korotana 10.01 Deadline 10/10/06 ENGLISH GCSE COURSEWORK GOTHIC WRITING The Tell Tale Heart This is a story about a madman who lives with an old man and wants to murder him simply because of the fact that he doesn't like one of his eyes. In the story it can be claimed that the narrator is obsessed with this old man's 'vulture eye' The reader believes that he is going over the top when he decides the only way to get rid of the old man's eye is to murder him. In the extract the narrator also clearly indicates what sort of effect the evil eye has on him, 'whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold: and so by degrees- very gradually- I made up my mind to take the life of the old man' Just by saying this phrase this gives the reader the impression that the narrator is mad, despite the fact that he even says that he is not mad. Next when he creates his plan to kill the old man, he is so obsessed in making sure that no one ever discovers that it was him who slaughtered the old man. For example, he spends seven nights just looking through the old mans door. Then on the eighth night when the old man hears him, he spends a whole hour keeping still. ...read more.

Middle

Then the black chamber has got red windowpanes 'the seventh apartment was shrouded in black ... the panes were scarlet -a deep blood colour. The colour black is considered as a colour of death fear, and finally red is the colour of blood. Other gothic features that are included are that after every hour or so when the clock chimes, there is a sort of freeze in time where everybody in the palace stops what they are doing. For example if someone was playing music it would just freeze. 'At each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause, to hearken the sound... and there was a brief discomfort of the whole gay company.' The final gothic feature that is to be found is that all the windows are shaped in a sort of gothic cross and each of the seven chambers has something odd about it. Then when one night the prince is holding a masquerade ball to entertain his guests, but then late into the night he notices something peculiar, it is a figure in a grey robe resembling a funeral shroud, with a mask depicting a victim of the Red Death (Prince Prospero) which all guests attending the ball have been desperate to flee. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Dracula the main gothic feature are isolation and imprisonment. Jonathan Harker feels like a prisoner despite the fact that he is in such a huge castle. Also he is in an isolated area as the castle is constructed on the boundary of a mountain, which is bordered by mountains as distant as the eye can see. 'To the west was a great valley and then rising far away, great jagged mountain.' This is an exemplar of the isolation Jonathon has to deal with. He is also a prisoner but he has the priority to move about freely all over the castle. 'I rushed up and down the stairs, trying every door and peering out of every window I could find' Because of all the activity going on this makes Jonathan feel like a madman as there is no escape from the castle, and there is no means of contact with the outside world. 'For I behaved much as a rat does in a trap' just by saying this we get a better understanding of what sort of situation he is in. The castle is almost invincible as three of the sides are just drops, there is only entry through one-way and an exit through one way. 'Three sides it was quite impregnable and great windows were placed here where sling.' So the windows are also very high so it is unachievable to flee out of the windows ...read more.

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