Why such dark settings and horrible happenings? The early Gothic writers reacted to their surroundings--the medieval ruins and the dark and terrifying times they represent, the inevitable decay that comes with being human as represented by these crumbling edifices. (From the latter you can see the correlation to creating someone who is immortal, i.e. Dracula.)
Strawberry Hill, in 1764--seventy some-odd years before the Victorian-era Gothics we associate with the movement today. It was in those Victorian times that the most famous Gothic works came to press--Dracula by Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was actually written earlier in the century, during the Romantic period (the subject of Tuesday's post!).
"I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence."
Courtesy: the V&A online, by Alphonse LegrosHarper Lee was very much a writer in the Southern Gothic style. She took the post-slavery South, added crime (rape, murder), social problems (segregation, ignorance, prejudice), compelling characters (child narrator, single father lawyer, misunderstood and mentally handicapped neighbor), and Gothic symbols (dark oak tree with hidden secrets, mob-rule violence, villains and heroes), and created a lasting work of fiction.
How do you incorporate Gothic literature values in your work? Were you aware of the Gothic literary movement's presence in your work before reading this?
Next in Series:
Thursday, Beat Generation
Top, left: Westminster Abbey, London
Second, right: Bath Abbey, Bath, England
Third, left: Strawberry Hill, near London