Gothic Styles

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  • The 5 Elements of Gothic Style The House of Usher
  • Vivid Language
  • Remote Desolate Setting
  • Tormented Character
  • Gothic Literature is a genre that began in England in the late 1700's. It is popular among authors like Poe because of the connection with darkness. All gothic writings have a distinct 5 elements.
  • Supernatural Occurrences
  • The dreary setting in the story is far back in the country, surrounded by dead and depressing plant life, near a black and lurid tarn. The large house has a crack in it, making it seem structurally unsound. It was full of bleak walls and eyelike windows.
  • Vivid Language
  • In the story Roderick is the tormented character. He is suffering from Great Depression and paranoia. Roderick's skin is greenish, he is weakened and distraught, and his room is a mess with lutes and wine all over. He also buries his twin alive.
  • Violent or Bizarre Events
  • Madeline Usher, the twin of Roderick, only appears twice in the story. The first time she appears she quietly just walks to her room. The second time she is buried by Roderick. However, she was still alive. Roderick hears her while the narrator reads him a story, and she comes out and kills him. She is described almost as if she is a zombie.
  • Vivid Language is used throughout the entire story. It specifically stuck out to me when Poe was describing the setting. The house was described as bleak, with eyelike windows and rank sedges, a depression of the soul, with an icy dreariness. He also described that there were decaying trees and a black and lurid tarn.
  • The narrator decides to read Roderick a story to try to calm him during a storm on his last night in the Usher house. As he reads the story he and Roderick begin to hear noises. He tries to brush them off but Roderick starts going crazy. It turns out the sounds were real and Madeline had risen from her grave.
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