A Taste of Gothic Literature – Students from China


Mr. Wang

This week we have read two novels. The first one is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and the other one is The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. Both of them are Gothic fictions, so what is your impression of this kind of literature?


I think most of gothic books can make the people feel excited, because first of all, the authors will provide some environmental clues such as in the Frankenstein, the author makes some depictions about the dreary night and the gleaming of candles and provides some clues for readers, paving the road for them to read the following paragraphs. And then, they will use some surprising tactics to kill a person or do supernatural things.


My general impression of Gothic literature is the gloomy atmosphere, because the author usually use some dark and horrifying words to illustrate events which contains imaginations. The wording is flat but the plot is horrified.


Although Gothic fictions use horrifying words, but they reflect real problems in the society.

Richard: One of the most important characteristics of Gothic fictions is the atmosphere depicted in the novels is always gloomy, which mainly serves to scare its reader. Also, the inner thinking of the characters helps to promote the plot a lot.


My impression of Gothic novels is the colors used in the depiction are always depressing colors. For example in Frankenstein, the depiction of the facial complexion of the creature, “pearly whitness”, “straight black lips”, conveys a feeling of depression and horror, setting up the context of emotions of the novel.


When I heard Gothic fictions for the first time, I thought they just contain long-teech ghost or bloody zombies, but actually it creates an atmosphere for readers, like the moon, dark churches and monsters behind the wall. After I read the two novels, the fear still lingers in my heart.

Well, I think my classmate have already talked about enough features and characteristics of Gothic literature. For me, specifically, I want to talk about The Cask of Amontillado. I think the irony and puns used in this passage is really good. For example, the cask has a double meaning which is the barrel and a tomb of people. So it may symbol the death of Fortunato. Also Fortunato sounds like fortunate, so it maybe a irony that shows the author’s attitude towards this person.


I think after reading Gothic fictions, readers will feel scared, because the main themes of these novels are death and revenge. For example, in the Cask of Amontillado, the narrator wants to revenge because Fortunato has insulted him, so he leads Fortunato to his vault and kills him.

Actually, when we talk about Gothic fictions, we will find something evil, sad and hard to understand. As a teenager, I like going to the hunters’ house and find something that can stimulate me. Although I know what the authors try to express, I just think they are fun.


I am always interested in such novels, because they contain well-organized rhetorical strategies which give people a sense of horror. A unique reading experience. Gothic literature reveals the deep side of the human nature.


The Gothic stories not only create a horrible atmosphere, but also show the dark and crazy side of human nature. For example, in the novel, The Cask of Amontillado,a man killed other by building a wall. When he finished part of the wall, he stopped, took a break and enjoyed the process of murder. Instead of the horrible environment, I think the dark side of human nature is more scary, because it hides in everyone’s heart. Once it beats the ethic, it will make a person cruel and crazy.


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