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

Discuss the Influence of Gothic Fiction upon pre 20th century and 20th century texts and say how Gothic features are used.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the Influence of Gothic Fiction upon pre 20th century and 20th century texts and say how Gothic features are used. What is a gothic Novel? It is defined in The Oxford Reference Encyclopedia as a story of terror and suspense, usually set in a gloomy castle or monastery. The Oxford English Reference Dictionary mentions the atmosphere of mystery and horror with a pseudo-medieval setting popular in the 18th and early 19th century. The Chambers concise dictionary identifies the gloomy sinister backgrounds with psychological horror and The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English explains the word 'gothic' has come to mean 'wild', 'barbarous' and 'crude'. Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764) is clearly labelled the first of the gothic novels in three out of my four references. This set a precedent for future writers and had many of the stereotypical features associated with Gothic fiction. Walpole himself revived the movement in gothic architecture renovating his house 'Strawberry Hill' in Twickenham to a gothic castle. It is the medieval castles, the dungeons, monasteries and mountainous landscapes that people relate to Gothic Architecture which has always been a major aspect of the horror of a Gothic novel, creating isolation and fear in an unknown and ominous setting. The influence of the revival of gothic fiction has had undeniable effects on authors work, not all are so obvious however. ...read more.

Middle

Unlike the emotions the reader goes through when reading I'm the King of the Castle, when reading The Red Room it is the supernatural powers that have most effect on the reader '....omens and witches were credible, and ghosts beyond denying.' These evil spirits are not confined to the 'Red Room' however, there is a mysterious movement in the corridor before entering the Red Room '...the candle in the alcove suddenly went out'. The colour red is a strong theme in this short story and has very strong connotations with the devil, danger and death not just being mentioned due to the Red Room however, there are 'red eyes' and 'red reflections'. Death also has a large input to the eeriness of the story, the 'young duke' died in the Red Room which implies to the reader that history might repeat itself during the man's visit to the Red Room, maybe not death but some form of harm, which happens to be true. A gun is also mentioned, which has obvious links with death, the reader may wonder if it will need to be used during the course of this short story. Wells' conjures images of ghouls and evil powers with words likes 'decaying', 'withered', 'grotesque', 'monstrous', 'echoes' and 'ghostly'. These are all words that one would associate with inhuman beings and it is very effective. ...read more.

Conclusion

Contrasting completely to both previous texts mentioned is I'm the King of the Castle. It is the most modern of the three which is shown in the style of writing, it is more subtle with the gothic elements and at first sight wouldn't be named a 'gothic novel'. Hill concentrates on the psychological side of things producing a 'piercing fable of the brutality latent in childhood innocence' unlike to Wells who simply produces a short 'scary' tale for the average reader of a magazine. I'm the King of the Castle uses the contrast of the natural environment of fields, woods and the weather with the artificial presence of Warings to provide atmosphere and mystery. The setting affects and reflects the characters. The gloom of Warings acts as a physical parallel for the lives of the Hoopers, the yew trees, with their suggestion of death deepen the morbid atmosphere in Warings. The Red Room with dark wooden panelling and staircases, the attic full of dead and rotting things are all aspects of the setting which have such a disastrous affect on Kingshaw. As in The Red Room and Jane Eyre the red room in I'm the King of the Castle is linked with death, the dead and rotting moths and Hooper's dead grandfather whose house it was originally and again has connotations with all things red, the devil, blood, and danger. ...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 H.G. Wells 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 H.G. Wells essays

  1. English Coursework on Comparing ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ With ‘The Red Room’

    The old man is trying to warn the young man but at the same time he is leaving the 'decision' to him. Another use of repetition is on page two where the old woman keeps on repeating, 'This night of all nights.'

  2. Opening to a Gothic Novel.

    Wild overgrown weeds and bushes encircled it. The bitter breeze began to blow the bare trees sideways, looking like outstretched stick insects screaming with horror in the wintry conditions. The crisp golden brown leaves blew up the winding path towards the building. 2 identical limestone gargoyles, carefully carved and detailed, were decorating the handrail, which stood at the bottom of the cracked concrete steps.

  1. Analysis of the Imagery and Sensuous Appeal: "The Battle" by Louis Simpson.

    The soldiers had to dig in "clammy earth" which must have gotten them wet and in the same way humid and cold. Later the feeling of freezing feet is another sensory detail that seems very uncomfortable: "Their feet began to freeze."(8).

  2. 19th Century Victorian Horror Stories: English Literature Coursework: How 19th Century writers of horror ...

    The doctor does this because he obviously knows something is going to happen to Malcomson so he wants him to remember this vital piece of information, keep his attention fixed on the rope, be aware and keep his wits about him.

  1. How does H.G Wells build up suspense in his story 'The Red Room' ...

    These features bring suspense to the story. Tension in the story rises as the young man enters the 'The Red Room.' 'Wanting to dispel the fanciful suggestions of its obscurity before they obtained a hold upon me.' This line suggests that he is confident about his future experience inside the room.

  2. Mystery stories- Pre 1914 prose

    St Clair gets attacked or Holmes solves the case. The tension is then definitively over at the end when the man with the twisted lip is in fact Mr. St Clair himself. Characters play an important role in stories they can help set the scene atmosphere or move along the plot.

  1. Pre 1914 Prose Fiction - Stories of Mystery

    the goblins makes the reader think about himself - because the goblins are so terrifying, if the reader is at all like Gabriel Grub, then he should change immediately or the goblins shall visit him too. Also, the setting of the graveyard easily creates a feeling of tension, as there is always a negative association with the supernatural.

  2. In the three Gothic Horror stories studied, how does each writer's description of the ...

    The seventh room had images of black and red so could be linked to the idea of death, which is symbolic as the main theme of the story is the idea of escaping death. However in Prince Prospero's castle he has an element of death which is shown as the last room!

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