Elements of gothic literature include romance, a castle or manor house, the potential of the supernatural, an unlikely hero, a sinister villain and isolation. Gothic elements work together to create a setting showing a fallen world, one where traditional elements, such as a castle that would evoke thoughts of power and success, are used to demonstrate the opposite and appear in a form of decay or ruin.
The point of gothic literature is to fill the human need to be afraid, but in such a way that the person is in no immediate physical danger, such as receiving a vicarious thrill from reading a book rather than walking into a reportedly haunted house. Gothic elements are used in novels to create a feeling of dread and mystery, highlighting the sensational. Common manifestations of gothic elements in literature include dark stairwells that ascend or descend into a dark place, such as a dungeon; failure of a light source; a reluctant hero; and a wanderer, someone who lives in isolation, often as a penance for a fall from grace. The landscape of a gothic novel is usually extreme and isolated. Common landscapes include a crumbling castle at the top of a cliff, a lonely road or somewhere in the woods without neighbors for several miles.Learn More
One famous example of a pathetic fallacy is the scientific axiom "nature abhors a vacuum," which suggests that nature has the ability to feel abhorrence. Cultural critic John Ruskin coined the term, which refers to attributing human emotions, traits and abilities to aspects of the natural world, in the late 18th century to decry artificial sentimentality in poetry. Pathetic fallacies are commonly used in science and poetry.Full Answer >
In Leo Tolstoy's short story "What Men Live By," the angel Michael learns that people dwell best when in love and that they do not always know what is in their best interests. Michael also learns that people live best by loving others and not by focusing solely on themselves.Full Answer >
The theme in Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Masque of the Red Death" is the inevitability of death. Life ends regardless of how hard people try to evade it.Full Answer >
Some notes on the story "The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson might reflect the grotesque nature of the farmer, the portrayal of the American Dream and the theme of happiness. "The Egg" is found in Anderson's book "The Triumph of the Egg: A Book of Impressions from American Life in Tales and Poems" published in 1921.Full Answer >