The gothic elements fused with the scary in the storyline where anxiety can be seen existing in the dark edges of the type and the locked secrets in back of doors retains on the memory of readers. Pictures that are hard to forget for instance as described by Jonathan Harker in his journal in chapter three "I observed the fingers and foot grasp the corners of the stones, worn clear of the mortar by the stress of years, and by thus using every projection and inequality move downwards with substantial speed, just as a
Bleak House, written by Charles Dickens is a dated text that commonly causes its readers difficulty in orientating the meaning behind it. Dickens writes in a seemingly periphrastic language style which causes ambiguity, making some of the decoding more challenging. The main narrative of Bleak House is surrounded by a court case and outlines the difficulties with the legal system. There are many complexities of the novel, such as the strict use of present tense, that portrays Dickens view of the world in a somewhat melancholy and whimsical fashion. Dickens uses techniques such as irony, inflectional morphology, personification, and syntax to write about his own reality.
London engages the reader through the use of literary devices, combining setting, total omniscience point of view, symbolism, and foreshadowing. By presenting the setting to the readers, London begins to show them that the tone is very unhappy and fearful. Like setting, the narrator presents the somber tone of the story through the total omniscience point of view. Additionally, various symbols are employed throughout the story to help support the narrator’s dark tone. Finally, the usage of foreshadowing from the start to the finish of the story helps to maintain the fearful and dark tone.
Gothic Literature, both traditional and contemporary are sources of unpredictable, mysterious entertainment. For example, ‘The Signalman’ written in 1866 by Charles Dickens utilises the setting, imagery and symbolism, as well as the theme of supernatural to generate the tension in the story. On the other hand, ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ written by Roald Dahl exploits intense emotions such insanity and the theme of reality to conceive suspense. Both writers successfully integrate mystery into the stories to provoke suspense. To begin with, the setting in ‘The Signalman’ is used to generate thriller, especially the creepy, isolated tunnel and the Signalman’s post.
In the Signalman, Dickens creates a sense of suspense by utilising the structure of his story. The story opens with the line “Halloa below there!” which immediately engages the reader’s attention as the readers are curious to know whom the narrator is speaking to. The story begins with one question and ends with another. The readers wonder why the unnamed person whom the narrator is talking to, is ‘below there’.
Through the many works, of gothic writer Edgar Allan Poe, vast amounts of Gothic elements can be found; including Cemetery, devil, and grotesque. These elements are hidden in these stories , that Edgar Allan Poe wrote, and are still read and studied today. These elements were chosen because of the way they are whittled into the story, and indirectly expressed. For example the Gothic element cemetery can be described in two different ways, but is the same gothic element. One way cemetery can be described is in a non traditional way it can give the reader claustrophobia.
In fact, by using an inner and limited point of view, the writer analyses in depth the psychology of the perverse and contradictory protagonists of his stories and exposes a kind of madness that induces readers to think of them as unreliable narrators. For instance, in works such as “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat” , the narrators attempt to prove their sanity providing a rational explanation of their actions and portraying their crimes as excusable. However, their inability to question their own abnormal behaviour, as well as their irrational fixations, are signs of their lack of sanity.
As the literary elements are not just some coincidence that is shown between the writings of these stories and poem. This bridges the relationship between the writers and their works of art but, even with all the similarities it always comes with differences. This is shown in each book with the way they show the gothic element. As The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is very upfront about its elements while in Frankenstein has the deeper meaning. Also in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, you had to read between the lines to understand the meanings.
He is the master of American horror yet with close examination he writing style is not so different from Wilde’s, just like Wilde he was partial to using aestheticism, his writing style is so often referred to his ‘addiction to adjectives’. Interestingly for Poe unlike so many of his contemporise, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson he wasn’t a ‘great American dream story writer’, whereas Emerson belonged to the mainstream national narrative, who saw American as new, full of potential and belonged to the transcendentalist movement, Poe illustrated America through a counter narrative. Emerson’s American offered hope, while Poe’s America offered death, decay and despair, not a new land but a decaying one; if Emerson looked outwards Poe most certainly looked inward. Poe’s narrative style can be seen as the great narrative of death and decay in America, but it is essential to examine why? Firstly modern readers can assume that a primary reason for Poe’s obsession with all things dead and decaying was because Poe suffered great death and loss in his life, described by Killis Campbell as “the saddest and strangest figure in American literary history”.