Writing Styles in Gothic Literature

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In Gothic literature, the setting may be the single most important device. Gothic writers generally set their novels in wild landscapes; in large, often ruined, castles; and/or in subterranean labyrinths. In Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, the castle itself plays a major role in the novel. As Robert Kiely writes in The Romantic Novel in England, "If anything gives this novel unity and animation, it is the castle. The place itself seems sufficiently charged with emotion to require little assistance from the characters. In fact, external conditions play a larger part in determining the behavior of the characters than do their own internal motivations." Thus, the setting itself provides as much suspense as does the plot or the characters.

In addition, Gothic writers as a rule set their novels in the distant, medieval past, in what they thought of as the "gothic period." However, their descriptions have...

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This section contains 881 words
(approx. 3 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.