Gothic In The 19th Century

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Godwin, “turned to the gothic and reinvested it with a power that would render his work influential to later writers in the genre as Charles Brockden Brown, Percy Shelley, Charles Robert Maturin ,and his daughter Marry Shelley” . 45 It is impossible to talk about early gothic novels without mentioning Marry Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), or The Modern Prometheus for it creates anew turn in gothic fiction. Frankenstein is an idealistic scientist believes that he has discovered the secret of life, but he loses control over his experiment. The gothic, in general, tends to break the crucial bounders between life and death, and interested in certain issues – bringing dead to life, obtaining immortality, living as ghost after death, these theme…show more content…
The gothic literature of the nineteenth century has undergone various transformations . A major shift in Victorian gothic is in term of the setting. The gothic is shifted from pastoral, wild countryside to urban setting . The urban gothic relocates the traditional gothic castles to the city which became popular in the 1830 and was applied on gothic fictions throughout the rest of the century. As the southern European was the setting of the first wave of the gothic , London becomes typical setting of the dark fictions in nineteenth century because of its cultural, financial state in the world. Besides, the conflicting situation of the city wealth and industry interwoven with the crimes and poverty helps to symbolize the conflict between the modern and the primitive. 49 The instrument of evoking horror was changed to suit the constantly changing…show more content…
51 Moreover, though Victorian gothic were still maintaining the elements of supernaturalism and fancy , there is a new special focus on realism . For instance, Dickens’s novels added supernatural elements to social criticism; in Great Expectations(1860), Dickens associates the characters of miss Havisham and Magwitch to ghost-like appearance though they are not. Such adaptation can be seen in charlotte and Emily Brontë as well .52 In addition to the setting, many gothic conventions take a new form in the Victorian age. For instance, the theme of the imprisonment, especially of women, both psychologically and physically, reflects the women’s internal state in the Victorian age. The Victorian age is characterized by gender inequality. Women were confined by social restrains. Female gothic becomes more complex in Victorian age. The term ʻfemale gothic’ is used by Ellen Moers to describe the conventions of women’s writings , back to Radcliffe’s gothic novels in which she employs the
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