Gothic literature peaked mainly in the Romantic period in England. The genre of literature got this much fame that universities still ask students to craft gothic literature essays on various topics.
The supernatural forces and intense environments of the gothic stories make them a fascinating subject to work on. Today, this type of literature has been replaced by horror and ghost stories, thriller novels and mystery fiction. Also, due to the change of the era, students have grown increasingly unfamiliar with the gothic style of writing.
If you want to craft the best essays on gothic topics, you will find this guide really beneficial for you. We have included the components of an excellent essay and also added some of the best reads to polish your understanding of gothic literature.
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Polishing Your Gothic Literature Essays – Valuable Tips For Prewriting
Want to craft stellar essays on gothic literature? For this purpose, first, you will need to grasp what gothic literature is. Emerging in the early 18th century, gothic fiction came out of the Romantic literary movement. The definition given by Patrick Kennedy is the following:
“In the most general terms, Gothic literature can be defined as writing that employs dark and picturesque scenery, startling and melodramatic narrative devices, and an overall atmosphere of exoticism, mystery, fear, and dread.”
Haunted houses, shadowy corridors, dark romance – all of these are necessary elements of gothic fiction. Here is our guide to writing essays on the gloomiest of romantic literature genres. Read on as we trace the history of early gothic literary works and introduce you to some essential elements to polish your essays.
1. Highlight The Setting Of The Novel
So, when you are analysing a gothic story, highlight its setting in the first place. It must be something that is related to the darker backgrounds, blended with a sense of mystery and horror. In the research paper Elements of the Gothic Novel, the author says:
The goal of the dark and mysterious setting is to create a sense of unease and foreboding, contributing toward the atmospheric element of fear and dread. Darkness also allows those sudden and frightening appearances of people, animals, ghosts, apparent ghosts, or monsters.
You must mention the scary details of the plot of the gothic literature essay you are working on. Appreciate the writer for the technical good points and point out the flaws, if any, in the work you are analysing.
2. Presenting The Element Of Mystery
Your essay on gothic literature topics will be practically incomplete if you do not highlight the element of mystery in your work. Create an atmosphere of suspense and mystery and pervade a threatening feeling in the work.
For instance, the concept of experimenting with living humans and alchemy might have turned into a boring old sci-fi topic now, but at one time in past, it gave life to gothic literature. Frankenstein is an example of this concept.
3. A Ghost Or A Monster
The main characters of the gothic literary work that your essay is based on must be accompanied by some monster-like or grotesque creatures. They can be vampires, ghosts, demons, zombies, werewolves or possessed entities.
These elements are the main elements of a gothic literature essay, so they must get their fair share of significance in the essay. Sometimes, the villain that must be highlighted in the essay is a figment of the main hero’s imagination. You must underpin such characters in your essays.
4. Depiction Of Awful Weather
Imagine a scenario having these key elements setting the background of the work:
- Flashes of light
- Thunder and downpours
- Human figures moving in darkness
- Storms and powerful winds
This dark, awful weather is exactly the setting stage for Wuthering Heights. So, when you are working on this gothic story, you cannot ignore the setting of the weather in your work.
You must not forget to answer the gothic literature essay questions in your work. For example, In Rebecca, the weather depicts the moods of individuals and characters in the book.
5. The Creation Of Melodrama
In a gothic piece of literature, you will see that there is a heightened sense of melodrama. You will analyse women exhibiting their tendency to swoon and men suffering from different degrees of turmoil. There will be murders, kidnappings and scenes of people going mad.
All these elements must be mentioned and highlighted in the essay you are crafting on gothic work. You should also see the work style adopted by several of the best writers for gothic literature essays. It shall help you successfully craft an excellent essay and enable you to get good grades in it.
Important: Ask For Help
Whenever you feel stuck anywhere during the writing process or feel the need for external help, ask your peers or consult your supervisor. It’s completely fine if you are not sure about what to write in a certain part of your essay.
While some students find it incredibly difficult to analyse literary works in this manner, it will be better to buy Gothic literature essays from professional essay writing services online. It is ten times better than risking your grades when writing an essay by yourself that does not even meet academic standards.
You may be surprised to know that the gothic style of writing is not confined to the element of terror. Let’s review what makes the short stories of this genre oddly captivating for the readers. Further, if you want to strengthen your essay, you must go through these books:
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
- The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (1764)
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847)
- The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe (1839)
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)
- The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan (1843)
- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (1898)
- The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter (1979)
- A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner (1930)
These were the set of instructions to follow when writing southern gothic literature essays. You should always make sure that the structure of the gothic essay you are writing is consistent and has a uniform division of content in it.
Also, your essay must be 100% plagiarism-free, and the analysis of the literary work shall belong to you only. Cite all the references in your work and make an accurate bibliography. If possible, review a couple of essays for students of Gothic literature.
Lastly, review your essays at least twice before the submission and make sure there are no mistakes of any kind in your custom work. It shall increase the worth and value of your work in the eyes of the reviewers.