Gothic Literature Comparison 2 Essay

Submitted By shelby030
Words: 769
Pages: 4

Gothic Literature Comparison
While reading gothic literature one might notice certain elements. There are a variety of elements, but I will only be comparing a certain few such as gadgets, decay, setting, and emotions. These elements are found in “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs and “The Oval Portrait” by Edgar Allen Poe. “The Monkey’s Paw” is about an old friend that visits a family and shows them a monkey’s paw, which can grant wishes. He warns the family not to take it, but the White family takes it anyway, and they did not expect the results of their wishes. “The Oval Portrait” is about a man who is recovering from injuries so he stays in a chateau, which is a secluded mansion in France. On the bed in the main room there is a book telling the stories of each the pictures on the wall, one in particular catches his eyes and he reads the story of the portrait. The story is the husband was a painter and he wanted to paint a portrait of his wife but with every brush stroke his wife dies and eventually disappears. The first element is gothic gadgets, which are physical items allowing supernatural powers to display the uncanny presence and abilities. In the “The Oval Portrait” there is a portrait that displays a young lady that looks life-like. How can someone decay with the each stroke and the painting look so life- like? This is strange and helps add to the odd feeling of “The Oval Portrait.” Similarly, “The Monkey’s Paw” uses the paw as its gadget. The paw uses it magical powers to create mysterious events so that someone can get what they wished for, but for a price. Also, decay is a gothic element that is important to most gothic literature. What is it? Decay is when a formerly great family, community, country or individual who has peaked and now begins a slow process of decline. In “The Oval Portrait,” decay is shown by when the wife slowly decays, because of every stroke her husband made while painting. Eventually, on the husband’s very last stroke of the paint brush she disappears. Instead of decay “The Monkey’s Paw” portrays the element death, which is very similar. Mr. White makes the wish for two hundred pounds. In return, his son Herbert died in a machinery accident because the paw grants your wish but for a price. The third element setting is where the story takes place. Most of the time the setting for gothic short stories are set in scary places such as a cemetery, haunted house, or a castle. Sometimes there is rain, fog, or mist. In “The Oval Portrait” the setting is at night in an abandoned chateau. The main room in the chateau is a darkened room, with walls covered in portraits. A big room with dark lights and portraits staring at somebody can be quite horrifying. The eerie