Pre-American Gothic Criticism In Literature

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American gothic writers have had much impact on our American society in countless ways. Gothic writers wrote about many national problems ranging from politics to mental illnesses. Conventional wisdom claims that gothic writers popularized and influenced the study of psychology. Steven Hammelman acknowledges that Charles Brockden Brown’s short stories caused people to ask questions, to propose theories, and almost always offer some insight to professionals and those alike. (Hammelman, Steven. Pre-modern day gothic writers wrote about psychological issues hundreds of years before professionals addressed mental illnesses, by extension shows that gothic writers helped popularize and influenced the study of psychology.

The connotation of the word "gothic" carries the stigma of the emotion melancholy and the grotesque. ("Stigma, n." OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, Accessed 16 November 2017.) Humanitarians and those alike tend to believe that the Gothic genre is to showcase the darker side of people, the subconscious being of humans. The goal of gothic writers was to use written word to insert their feelings on certain issues, for example: Washington Irving 's ' short story "Rip Van Winkle" focused on politics and biological determinism; biological determinism is the attribution of sole or excessive importance to biological factors in the determination of intelligence, behavior, development, etc.
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