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

    Johnson quietly slid it back into his room, suspicious someone was in there. 'Not three feet from stood the man, the fringe of black hair marked plainly against his forehead'. At the same moment the kit-bag gave a faint but unmistakable lunge towards to the door.

  2. Gothic Horror Stories

    The themes in all three stories are similar in some ways but also differ in other ways. In the 'Judges House' the theme is fear as everyone is scared of the judge including Malcomson at the end of the story.

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

    In "The Uncanny"(1930) Freud identified this "death drive" as a fundamental attraction to Gothic. That was during another revival of the form within nearby Weimar Germany. Siegfried Kracauer also suggested that Gothic expressionism in German cinematic art was indicative of a fermenting turbulence prior to the outburst of the death-drive in force: Nazism.

  2. "Gothic fiction is erotic at the root" according to Punter. From your reading of ...

    A feeling comparable to orgasm? Stoker uses this simple operation as one of the more milder erotic references in his novel so as to prepare us for the much stronger references to follow. Following the death of Lucy Westenra, we hear of the exploits of the 'Bloofer Lady' through articles

  1. The Vampire is one of the most enduring figures in horror cinema.

    These places exist to force abnormality back into what is considered normal. In stories such as The Hunger (Tony Scott: MGM/UA: 1983), doctors go so far as to attempt to explain the vampire through abnormalities in their blood, and even to propose cures.

  2. How does the writer create an atmosphere of fear and horror in the opening ...

    The conversation between Harker and the lady is one of desperation, the lady really wanted to get a message to Harker. When the lady asked Harker "do you know what day it is" when he replied "the fourth of May" , she gets frustrated and is rushing to try and

  1. A Comparison of two Gothic Horror Films, Sleepy Hollow and The Lost Boys.

    At the start of the film, there is a piece of writing, the text is written in a gothic font, telling us that the characters are probably based around the beginning of the nineteenth century, and relates to the scary, medieval era.

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

    This is witnessed in the conflict between Dracula, and Van Helsing and his entourage; the Crew of Light. Their conflict arises over a duel to see who is able to assert more power over women, both sexually and intellectually, gender functions that are woven tightly into Victorian ideals about masculine and feminine counterparts; as shown by Lucy.

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