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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Gothic Elements Characters The protagonists of Gothic literature are usually isolated or alone.That isolation could be physical, in the form of being trapped, oremotional. These circumstances may be beyond one's control.In the Tell-Tale Heart, the old man with the "vulture eye" istrapped inside his room emotionally due to his fear of getting upto see if someone is present in his bedroom. In The Fall of theHouse of the Usher, Madeline is trapped inside her family homephysically by her brother Roderick whom will not let her leave.When the story begins, the readers are unsure of why he is soentirely possessive over Madeline, but by the time the storyconcludes we are able to understand the reasons behind hisactions. Finally, in The Facts of the Case of M. Valdemar,Valdemar is trapped both emotionally and physically in someways. He is unable to escape the hypnosis put upon him andfurther more he is unable to escape the death that is he isdoomed with. Emotions within characters run high in Gothic literature.Qualities of characters are often passionate and strong-willed when it comes to their goals. At times they havebeen known to defy others or even their own commonsense in order to pursuit their ambitions. The "damsel indistress" motif appears quite often in this type of writing.Women are threatened by relentless men or situations in which they find themselves in. They often appearfrightened or scared during these times. A damsel indistress can be seen in The Fall of the House of theUsher. Madeline suffers from the ailment of her over-powering twin brother Roderick. He seems to controlher to the point where she is unable to make her owndecisions. The other two short-stories do not have a damsel in distress present throughout. Foreshadowing and Drama Implications often precede dark events are going to occur in Gothic literature. Unlucky omensappear, ancient curses linger in the air, and dark forces beyond the hero's knowledge intervenewith his or her ambitions.When any of these things happen, the reader may be able toforeshadow an event that might occur next. In The Tell-Tale Heart, the reader can assume thatonce the old man wakes and suspects someone lurking upon him that the author will eventuallymake a move and attack him. In The Fall of the House of the Usher, the reader can assume thatdue to the rules of Roderick, Madeline will not be able to escape the house by the end of the story.In The Facts of the Case of M. Valdemar, one may be able to presume the death of Valdemar dueto the disease that has struck his body ill. Foreshadowing is a very natural element that can beused to figure out the story line of a Gothic writing.High emotion in Gothic literature is emphasized and often reflects a climax in the sense of drama.This includes murders, kidnappings, mad and revolting characters, and tragic illnesses. At leastone of these elements are seen in each of the three pieces I have read. The Tell-Tale Heart hasan intense murder as well as an angry Edgar Allen Poe. The Fall of the House of the Usher hasa partial kidnapping and also a very angry and uncontrollable Madeline. Ultimately, The Facts inthe Case of M. Valdemar has a tragic illness impose on the main character. Drama in thesestories is what creates uncertainty and anticipation within the readers. Setting Gothic literature is often set in old, rundown structures or homes.This element can be seen in all three of Edgar Allen Poe's works that I have read. In The Tell-Tale Heart,The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, and The Fall of theHouse of The Usher the eerie stories take place in homes that feature hidden passages, trap doors, dungeons, and secretrooms. Edgar placed the body of the old man beneath thewood floor boards in The Tell-Tale Heart. In The Fall of the House of the Usher, Edgar decided Madeline's coffin shouldbe placed in the dungeon-like basement. He then has Phillip,a main character in the short story, find his way through atrail of secret passage ways and small corridors to find theinsane Madeline. Lastly, in The Facts of the Case of M.Valdemar, the author begins the story in Valdemar's creepyhome. As readers can expect, odd things occur within thathousehold starting with the hypnosis and ending with theinescapable disease that strikes Valdemar. The environment around the setting seen in Gothic worksusually reflects a bleak or forbidding atmosphere.This includes dark forests, imposing mountains, stormyweather, and areas far away from civilization. Isolationplays a large role in creating that intense feeling ofmystery, horror, and dread. In The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar'sshort story takes place during the evening. There is a lotof darkness and suspense as he slowly creeps up towardthe sleeping old man. In the Fall of the House of the Usher,the mysterious mansion is very secluded since it is locatedin the middle of nowhere. During the action of the short story,There is lots of rain, thunder, lightning, and wind which aidsin creating the suspenseful plot. Lastly, in The Facts of theCase of M. Valdemar, the entire plot is focused around diseaseand death creating a depressed and morose mood in the reader. The tone of voice suggests anxiety, uneasiness,and agitation.These types of feelings represent fear and panicwithin the short story. Tiffany Pizzi Tiffany Pizzi
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