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In What Ways Are The Conventions Of Gothic Fiction Shown In The Texts You Have Studied

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Introduction

In What Ways Are The Conventions Of Gothic Fiction Shown In The Texts You Have Studied Stories of the gothic fiction genre first began to be written in the late 18th century to the early 19th century, the genre was very popular from the 1760's through to the 1820's. Famous authors from this time include Mary Shelley, whom wrote Frankenstein. However the genre of gothic fiction is still popular today, which is shown by famous authors such as Stephen King, that have written many stories within the gothic fiction genre. Gothic Fiction is mostly considered to be horror writing, with tales of murder and mystery, to scare the reader and often have supernatural links or instances. The supernatural instances are often reflected within the conventions of gothic fiction, usually the "evil" characters have a "supernatural" appearance. The conventions of gothic fiction are; Isolation, Setting and Atmosphere, Superstition, Character and Good versus Evil. The two stories that these conventions were investigated in were "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley and "The Vampire Of Kaldenstein" by Frederick Cowles. ...read more.

Middle

This is well represented in Frankenstein, where Victor creates his Creature and when he leaves to begin work on his second creature. Both the "hero" of Frankenstein and The Vampire Of Kaldenstein, have a major flaw, as is often the way with the Gothic Fiction Genre. In these two stories, both the heroes ignore warnings; Frankenstein is warned by his teacher not to carry on his research into "creating life" or "blurring the line between life and death" ("Life and Death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through..." - Frankenstein) and in The Vampire Of Kaldenstein the hero ignores warning to stay away from the old castle in which the vampire lives ("...'the man that has lived in them for three hundred years?' I laughed" - The Vampire Of Kaldenstein). The actions of the characters are also often influenced by the setting and the atmosphere around them. And the actions of the characters can often affect the atmosphere, they can create a more fearful atmosphere by being afraid themselves ("repeated the priest with a tremor in his voice" - ...read more.

Conclusion

These superstitions often begin as rumours and soon become rules by which the people live. These superstitious rules are the character's ways of combating evil with good. Good versus evil; this is one of the most important conventions of gothic fiction, and links to all of the other conventions. Religious buildings and people such as churches, are usually symbols of good ("...when a priest came in through a side door... and at once gave me a friendly greeting" - The Vampire Of Kaldenstein). Whereas buildings and space below ground are associated with evil, often representing that going underground and deeper are moving closer to Hell. These underground areas are often where evil is found ("We have certain underground apartments, and his excellency uses one as his bed-chamber" - The Vampire Of Kaldenstein). These evil characters often have an "unnatural" and "supernatural" appearance ("a being which had the shape of a man, but apparently of gigantic stature..." - Frankenstein). All of the conventions of gothic fiction are linked and run into each other, and they are all used often together, to create fear, and to scare the reader. Craig Clayton ...read more.

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