Gothic Literature Essay

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In the following essay excerpt, MacAndrew examines Gothic conventions in use for over two hundred years, finding that "writers chose the Gothic tale as a vehicle for ideas about psychological evil."

Gothic fiction is a literature of nightmare. Among its conventions are found dream landscapes and figures of the subconscious imagination. Its fictional world gives form to amorphous fears and impulses common to all mankind, using an amalgam of materials, some torn from the author's own subconscious mind and some the stuff of myth, folklore, fairy tale, and romance. It conjures up beings—mad monks, vampires, and demons—and settings—forbidding cliffs and glowering buildings, stormy seas and the dizzying abyss—that have literary significance and the properties of dream symbolism as well. Gothic fiction gives shape to concepts of the place of evil in the human mind.

It was a new literary form in the late eighteenth...

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This section contains 5,592 words
(approx. 14 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Gothic Literature Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Gothic Literature from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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