• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and Contrast The Use of Gothic Conventions From Pre-1914 and The Twentieth Century

Extracts from this document...


Compare and Contrast The Use of Gothic Conventions From Pre-1914 and The Twentieth Century By Gabriel Clark The word gothic is a noun and an adjective describing an era of fashion. This fashion can be seen through people in what they wear, buildings, writings, music and images. Gothic fashions are meant to shock and scare people into a state of insecurity, it does this by following certain "stock features" (rules it abides to). In this study I plan to concentrate on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Daphne Du-Maurier's Rebecca, and The Woman In Black (author unknown). I will look at four certain "stock features" and find the similarities and differences between Dracula, Frankenstein (pre 1914), and Rebecca and The Woman In Black (the twentieth century). The features that I will be looking at are, buildings, quests and journeys, letters/diaries, and the use of the externals such as weather (pathetic fallacies). In all four of the gothic novels included in this study buildings play a big part. In Frankenstein and Dracula the main characters in each go to stay in huge, isolated buildings. In Dracula Jonathan Harker is working, as a solicitor and trying to move Dracula to London, and in Frankenstein Victor Frankenstein is creating his immortal monster in his rather overly huge student home. ...read more.


Journeys are crucial in gothic writing; the fact that the main character is away from his or her natural, recognisable surroundings can create worry. This is because in a strange place where you are a stranger to everyone and everyone is a stranger to you, you do not know who you can trust, this can cause worry and suspicion in the readers' and characters' mind. "Holding out his hand grasped mine with a strength that made me wince, an effect which was not lessened by the fact that it seemed as cold as ice-more like the hand of a dead than a living man-." This quote from Dracula shows that after his long and tiresome journey from London to Transylvania Mr Harker is weary and very aware. We see that in the film the castle is set high in a mountain (and that is the image created in our minds from the text) where it is obviously cold night, this would surely make Count Dracula's hands cold, especially as hands and feet are most sensitive to heat and cold. And so surely this statement by Jonathan Harker is unjust. In Frankenstein Victor his made the journey to university, where he begins to create his monster. In Rebecca the journey is somewhat different as it takes place in the heroin's head as a dream. ...read more.


In the twentieth century novels pathetic fallacies are used differently, in both Rebecca and The Woman in Black you will note as I have earlier explain that the buildings are described in great detail. The externals are used to set the scene, things like the shrubbery, hedgerows in Rebecca and the paths and the area surrounding the house in The Woman in Black, and although the weather is used in The Woman in Black it is not as important as the pre 1914 novels. So in pre 1914 novels the weather is used in the externals in a big way but in the twentieth century novels this has changed and the scenery itself had been used to set the mood. In conclusion I can say that Gothic writing has changed over the years but the stock-features have stayed very much the same. I believe that this change has taken place because people themselves have changed. It the early 1900 hundreds people would be shocked and disgusted by the mentioning of Satan or of sex but now these topics come up in many conversations. So gothic writers of today have had to adapt to this and alter their work. Also it is apparent that people have become more sophisticated in many ways so the writing of today has to be much deeper and much more descriptive. So although the conventions of gothic have remained very similar, the writing has changed in many ways. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Bram Stoker section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Bram Stoker essays

  1. How does Bram Stoker use Gothic conventions to create an atmosphere of suspense and ...

    The main reason that this sense of fear is created by the writer is because of how graphic the script becomes and how detailed it is and once again this instantly creates a picture in your mind of Dracula commencing with these gruesome acts.

  2. How does Bram Stoker use the conventions of Gothic literature in the Novel 'Dracula'?

    "Desperate Thoughts" is the chapter where Harker begins to believe that he will not live any more. He is now determined to fight the evil "Count Dracula". Stoker's Gothic Conventions pulls Harker into believing that if he kills the Count that he will be saved and be can go home and be safe from any more evil.

  1. 'No reader of 'The Woman in Black', can be left in doubt about its ...

    Susan Hill has also reworked this Gothic element in the novel as there are some circumstances that would seem conventional to include pathetic fallacy but do not, such as the first sighting of The Woman in Black at the funeral of Mrs Drablow, 'I saw a blackbird on the holly

  2. With close reference to at least three texts compare and contrast four characteristics of ...

    The imagery and descriptions of surroundings in 'Dracula' are of an intense, gloomy nature: "..the mountains seemed to come nearer to us on each side and to frown down upon us." This is a very effective way of creating an atmosphere of oppression and suffocation, designed to frighten a reader as it is gloomy and therefore, foreboding.

  1. The Gothic: A History

    Ambrosio, the villain and the main character of The Monk, is supposedly the most pious man in the entire city at the start of the novel. He is blatantly hypocritical, telling his devoted followers and listeners in his well-spoken stentorian voice that they should follow God's laws and be pious

  2. Discuss the relationship between sexuality and cruelty AND/OR or death in any TWO texts.

    is clearly contradictory, since his 'longing' and 'fear' disclose a man in turmoil with his sexual psyche. Certainly, Harker is attempting to control and rationalise his obvious sexual arousal, as the: 'wicked burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips' (Stoker p.51)

  1. In What Ways Are The Conventions Of Gothic Fiction Shown In The Texts You ...

    I may be absent for a month or two, but do not interfere with my motions..." - Frankenstein), however in The Vampire Of Kaldenstein, although the character leaves to go without his friend he is not so emotionally isolated, it is more a case of physical isolation.

  2. Look closely at Jonathan Harker’s journey to Dracula’s Castle. How does the director give ...

    That is an important factor the director thought of when setting the film. In the background you can see an orange sky that is predominant throughout the scene. The shot is slightly out of focus but a large threatening mountain range can be clearly seen in the background.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work