Literary Precedents for Behind a Mask

This Study Guide consists of approximately 11 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Behind a Mask.
This section contains 581 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Behind a Mask Short Guide

Behind a Mask has specific ties to Gothic literary tradition. Alcott read and admired the Gothic novels of the eighteenth-century authors Ann Radcliffe, Monk Lewis, and Charles Brockden Brown, all of whom wrote under the influence of Horace Walpole, whose The Castle of Otranto (1764) launched the Gothic tradition. Radcliffe's popular The Mysteries of Udolpho, published in 1794, featured elements of intrigue and horror. Her The Italian of two years later depicted a romantic villain who repelled, yet attracted the reader at the same time.

Lewis incorporated horrific and supernatural elements into The Monk (1796). Brown's Wieland (1798) and Arthur Mervyn and Ormond (1799) reflected the Radcliffe school of horrors.

By the nineteenth-century, works influenced by the tradition were being produced by Alcott's Concord neighbor Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Scarlet Letter (1850) treated themes of guilt and secrecy, and their psychological effects, through a strong female character.

Similarly, Edgar Allan Poe depicted his own favored...

(read more)

This section contains 581 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Behind a Mask Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Behind a Mask from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook