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Jan Angelo OribelloMs. Tomlinson AP Literature15 January 2018What Defines Gothic and What it is?The rise of gothicism was during a time of widespread fear and terror, most predominantly during the French Revolution, which caused many writers to express their concerns and thoughts over the political actions.  Moreover, Gothic literature was seen as a literary movement in which it focused on life and the qualities of it.  Also, gothic literature dates back as early as the latter half of the 18th century, with Horace Walpole’s, The Castle of Otranto.  Additionally, the gothic genre is also closely linked with the belief of the supernatural, resulting in many novels containing intrigue and mystery.  The genre includes many elements and styles that specifically define it throughout the years and has had an impact on modern literary works.Gothic literature has many contrasting views between human moralities, such as the light versus the darkness type of scheme or lesson.  Moreover, there are main driving elements that may define and that many gothic works use.  The first being, that the characters are usually requested to “reject the rational world in order to embrace the primitive world of our emotions.” (Katsu 2).  In most cases, the meaning of the first characteristic applies to when the main character escapes from reality, and feeds into their emotions which leads to them entering a supernatural state or world.  Additionally, another characteristic of gothic literature is when a character is “giving oneself over to the seductive but dangerous world of the inner psyche” (Katsu 2).  In essence, a character feeds into their evil or malicious intent which is their primal instincts instead of acting upon what is morally correct.  Also, more often than not, gothic literature may contain an obsessive amount of graphic details and death.  This is due to the fact that gothic works, as stated before, deal with a light versus dark scheme, which is most commonly, life versus death and peoples’ animalistic primal instincts versus their angelic good morals.  Additionally, as stated by Alex Scott, “…death, it operates in a manner that resembles actual pain” (Scott 1) and death also is “acting and reasoning as fear” (Scott 1).  Moreover, gothic literature is also defined by the sublime.  Furthermore, the sublime is serves as an element to apprehend a character’s fear and distress.  Moreover, as stated by Burke the sublime is also, “Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain and danger, that is to say whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling” (Burke 499).  In essence, gothic literature contains elements that make use of humanity’s morals and also make use of human emotion to evoke supernatural occurrences and events within the work, while implementing a dark, semi-fearful, and dangerous feeling to the work.In modern history, from the 20th to the 21st century, the gothic genre and literature has been relevant by influencing and having an impact upon modern works.  One specific title is the television show, American Horror Story written and created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.  Within the seven seasons of American Horror Story, there are appearances of allusion to previous gothic works and some elements that make it gothic itself.  One example would be the supernatural occurrences that occur throughout all seven seasons.  Within the show, there are many appearances of possessions, ghosts, witches, resurrections, and monsters alike.  One specific example would be season 1, in which within it, the setting takes place in a haunted house where the residents are constantly tormented and played with by the spirits.  Additionally, the supernatural beings that resides in the house either have good or bad intention of whether they should help or torment the living, which lies in with what Katsu said on their article about feeding into primal ways or good morals.  Furthermore, I believe that the creators of the television series were influenced by gothic works not just by the setting, mood, and tone of the overall show, but by the allusions they setup.  One specific piece of evidence would be in season three, where a boy named Kyle has died, but is resurrected by the local witches (supernatural occurrence), which then proceed to reanimated him using body parts found in a morgue, thus creating an allusion to Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein.  In which, Frankenstein was created the same way with the use of body parts from a morgue.  Secondly, another piece of evidence as to why the creators of the show were influenced by the gothic genre, was the use of gothic urban legend, Edward Mordrake.  Edward Mordrake was supposedly a person who had another face implanted on the back of his head, which had thoughts of its own which supposedly were malicious and suicidal, in which Edward could hear these thoughts and eventually drove him to suicide.  In the fourth season, Edward Mordrake made an appearance and throughout his existence on the show and is conflicted with his good morals (physically shown) and his primal desires (his thoughts within the second face), but ultimately commits suicide.  Overall, American Horror Story is a gothic show within itself due to the dark creepy tone, supernatural beings, and also due to the allusions toward other gothic works such as Frankenstein.In essence, gothic literature and the genre can be described as having an overall tone of dark and creepy.  Additionally, it conveys to the audience that there are two contrasting views such as light versus dark, which causes internal conflict, striking at one’s emotions.  Within these emotions comes a connection to the supernatural world, which gothic literature portrays and lets the characters feed into it or try to escape it.  Overall, the gothic genre tends to strike at one’s emotions and reveal that there is constantly a war going on in the world between what is morally right and wrong and how it affects the plot. Works Cited:Burke, Edmund. “Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the  Beautiful.” N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2018.Katsu, Alma. “What’s Gothic Now?” N.p., 19 June 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2018.Scott, Alex. “Edmund Burke, from A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful.” N.p., 2002. Web. 13 Jan. 2018.”The First Wave of Gothic Novels: 1765-1820.” N.p., 26 Aug. 2006. Web. 13 Jan. 2018.

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