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

With close reference to at least three texts compare and contrast four characteristics of Gothic Horror which you consider to be effective.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

With close reference to at least three texts compare and contrast four characteristics of Gothic Horror which you consider to be effective. In the Renaissance, art forms such as literature and paintings etc encompassed themselves around the need to learn, reason and understanding and philosophy. Gothic Horror became popular at the end of the Renaissance in the 1700's, and the early 1800's saw the rise of the gothic movement. There are many well-known pioneers, one of which is Horace Walpole who wrote 'The Castle of Otranto in 1764; a novel which incorporates many of the characteristics associated with Gothic Horror even today. A gothic novel became known as a 'romance of terror' in this period, and maybe this obsolescent definition sheds light on how the 'Romanticism' period, which followed directly from Gothic Horror, came to be. Although short lived in the Literature circle, Gothic Horror is an important era as it was very influential and many filmmakers and authors today still try to re-create the 'terror' they introduced. Throughout this assignment, I will refer to Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein', Mary Cholmondeley's 'Let Loose', W.W.Jacobs' 'The Monkey's Paw' and Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. One characteristic that I found relevant to all Gothic Horror texts that I studied was isolated locations. ...read more.

Middle

'Frankenstein', by Mary Shelley uses both of these features mostly and she uses weather as a symbol of what is to come: "darkness and storm increased every minute and the thunder burst with a terrific crash over my head...vivid flashes of lightening dazzled my eyes; illuminating the lake, making it appear like a vast sheet of fire" Here, she builds up a scene of horror using powerful, frightening weather imagery, a contrast of light and darkness. Although Mary Cholmondeley uses weather to create atmosphere in 'Let Loose', she uses it very differently. While Mary Shelley uses storms and darkness, Cholmondeley uses oppression through heat to create a feeling of suffocation and terror: "the day was oppressively hot", "the heat was still intense", "the air about me seemed heavy with death." She also uses foreboding language to create expectancy and anxiety: "there was a sensation of trouble in the air, as if, although the day was bright and clear, a storm were coming." This is a more subtle approach to using weather, but equally as effective. One text creates outright terror through weather and the other creates a spine-tingling expectancy. I found that 'Dracula' made excessive use of light and dark to create an oppressive atmosphere. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even the 'monster's' reaction on beholding itself adds to the horror. If the monster cannot behold itself, then how could we? Its reaction to itself highlights its wretchedness: "Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from it in disgust?" The concept that the reactions of characters initiate more fear in the plot is heightened in 'The Monkey's Paw'. Although a repulsive description of Herbert is included, I find that the father's frightened reaction on even thinking of beholding his dead son is more effective in initiating fear in an audience: "he has been dead ten days, and besides he - I would not tell you else, but - I could only recognise him by his clothing. If he was too terrible for you to see then, how now?" "For God's sake, don't let it in" In 'The Monkey's Paw', the characters to not face the 'monster' and they do in Frankenstein, but I believe that the mystery of his appearance and intent is far more frightening than in Frankenstein. This proves that with a combination of many characteristics of horror, the best horror scene is created. I believe that the supernatural and superstition are best used in conjunction with other characteristics, such as fear of the unknown, extreme behaviour and weather. In Dracula, the supernatural and superstitions are emphasised by the extreme behaviour of the people around. ...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 the writer create an atmosphere of fear and horror in the opening ...

    the chapter was debating whether to get up and run away, and this shows the circumstances he was in were truly terrifying. The horses reactions were that they "reared again and plunged madly, so that the driver had to use all his strength to stop them from "bolting" the word

  2. Gothic Horror Stories

    The other character is a ghost which isn't really evil; it really just warns the signalman of something which is going to happen. . Although the character is a ghost it doesn't really meet the character determinant of a gothic horror story, because the ghost should be evil and malicious.

  1. Discuss possible answers to this question with reference to at least two critical or ...

    This regression of female penetration has some basis within Freudian research into dreams. Nightmares, according to Freudian psychoanalysis, result from sexual oppression and occur most commonly in virgins, widows and nuns; and that the remedy is found in the love of a good or bad man (Jones, p. 87).

  2. What boudaries does the vampire threaten? Discuss possible answers to this question with ...

    Schaffer argues that the vampire could easily be interpreted as a metaphor for "love that dare not speak its name. To homophobes, vampirism could function as a way of naming the homosexual as monstrous, dirty, threatening. To homosexuals, vampirism could be an elegy for the enforced interment of their desires" (p.

  1. Compare The Kit-bag and The Judge's Houseas Short Stories in the Gothic Horror Tradition.

    a high brick wall massively built,' so already we can imagine that there is this huge eighteenth century house that hasn't been touched for decades and is suitable for some strange going's on.

  2. "The Gothic is concerned primarily with representing transgression and taboo, there is nothing more ...

    exclusions of what it marked out as 'low' - dirty, repulsive, noisy and contaminating" (191). I think the male dominated intellectual elite differentiated "high art" from the Gothic through a similar process of "negation and disgust" (evidenced in contemporary reviews)

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

    But it seems as though Dracula is very different compared to humans as Jonathan, who had lived with him, had never seen him eat. This must mean that there is another way in, which Dracula consumes which has not yet been discovered.

  2. Using close analysis of 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley and 'Dracula' by Bram Stoker, explain, ...

    'Dracula' is the story of a vampire, Count Dracula, who lives in Transylvania. Jonathan Harker, a Lawyer travels to Dracula's castle. It is there Jonathan discovers Dracula to be a vampire. He somehow manages to escape in an immense state of fear and shock.

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