The Gothic Novel
An article by Valerie Mamicheva
What is a gothic novel?
A Gothic novel is thought to be a novel of "horrors and mysteries": it has a theme and a philosophy of the "world' evil", a representation of something supernatural, mysterious, sombre; its plot is always bound up with secret murders, the heroes are marked with a seal of a demonic lot.
The Gothic novel is a miscellanea of the ancient and the modern styles, fantastic and realistic things; it is a tale about incredible events. It differs with a dignified manner of telling and many people can say that it looks like "an ancient novel about adventures of knights". Through all gothic novels we watch a strife of passions and feelings of the main heroes.
Here are some attributes of a gothic novel:
- The actions take place in a godforsaken castle, a monastery or an abbey with forbidden locked rooms, long narrow passageways, etc.
- The certain atmosphere: a moaning and a howling of a wind. The place of an action is in the vicinity of some cemetery, waste or something else.
- There are many servants scurrying along narrow corridors, often they're very funny and chatty.
- The main characters are: some knave, a young lady (beautiful, kind, noble, wise and, of course, pensive), and a young man who is struggling with an evil.
- And there is always some secret (a murder, maybe, or deprivation of a inheritance...)
- Sometimes, there are ghosts, witchcraft, charms, witches, predictions and etc.
- Sometimes, an author tells us that this novel are taken from an ancient manuscript or that this novel is found in a library of some catholic family centuries ago. Usually, an author tells it in an introduction to his novel.
There are two main types of gothic novel:
- Sentimental gothic novel ("The old English baron", for example).
- Black novel ("The devil in love", for example).
During a gothic novel good heroes fight with their enemies and seek a key to a solution. Supernatural things are always taken as real ones.
— Valerie Mamicheva