Elements Of Gothic Literature

Words: 1209
Pages: 5

Dark, gloomy, and eerie: these are the elements of Gothic Literature. Gothicism is a 19th century literary period that shines a light on the creepy side of life. Gothicism is one of the first American literature time periods that is mainly focused on death or sin. Edgar Allen Poe who wrote “The Fall of the House of Usher,” creates a story about two twins with either a mental or physical disability. Roderick and Madeline have to face their isolation, their odd lineage, and their decaying home. Both are dependent on each other in order for survival. This story will change one’s view on the human brain (unconscious or conscious) and sin. Another Gothic works is “The Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The short story is about a sermon wearing …show more content…
To enhance to the Gothic traits of literature, figurative language is used to emphasizes such aspects of the writing. In “The Fall of House of Usher,” Poe states “the vacant and eye-like windows” (414). This quote describes the windows of the “House of Usher” and throughout the story this quote is repeated for extra significance. This simile stating that the windows are comparable to eyes have a deeper meaning that give a depth to the story. This quote was used when describing the house’s windows. This juxtaposes the eyes of Roderick, who faces a mental illness. Roderick’s eyes are disturbed eyes. These “eye-like windows” foreshadow the death of the sibling’s eyes. Rodericks eye’s were full of exhilaration and craziness, but his eyes lose those characteristics after the family lineage and the “House of Usher” comes to the end too. In “The Minister’s Black Veil”, Hawthorne uses figurative language when he says, “There may be whispers that you hide your face under the consciousness of secret sin” (4). This example shows personification because sin cannot have a consciousness. This quote reinforces the Puritanistic time period this story was set in. Hawthorne reveals the truth that it is easy to accuse others of sinning when all people are aware of the sin they themselves have committed. The entire theme of “The Minister’s Black Veil” is that all people have secret sin that are completely hidden from others. The use of personification emulates a deep human characteristic to enhance the power of sin. The personification instills fear in the reader because people are aware and frightened by the strength a wrongdoing may have. Both of these works use the capability of figurative language to add to the overall effect of the story by enhancing the mood, tone, or