The contemporary understanding is similar but has widened to include a variety of genres, such as paranormal and horror. Much like that of various literary genres, villains play a pivotal role in Gothic literature. Drew, John M. L. “Introduction and Notes.” In The Picture of Dorian Gray. No Man’s Land, Elder Gods and Monsters: The Modern Gothic from 1900-1932. Victorian literature is literature, mainly written in English, during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901) (the Victorian era).It was preceded by Romanticism and followed by the Edwardian era (1901–1910).. Scholars such as Jerrod Hogle, Kenneth Womack, specifically evaluate the use of the Gothic and its inherent supernatural elements as the tool of Wilde to express his ethical criticism of society and artistic culture (169). The Victorian era is defined as the years of Queen Victoria's rule from 1837 to 1901 and is defined by advanced scientific discoveries and burgeoning cultural questions of moral values. In his dream world he thinks he escapes the hangman's noose and returns to his family. Subsequently, public faith in Christian Orthodoxy began to wane in the wake of Enlightenment rationalist thinking that deliberately undermined the church and the monarchy. The text contends that influence is a predominantly negative force. The novel’s theme of aestheticism is a critique of  Victorian moral panic. However, he indicates that Wilde was not interested in terrorizing his readers as he was in “saying something quite specific about the dynamics of artistic creation” (173). English aristocrat Horace Walpole combines the supernatural and horrific to create the first Gothic novel. With suggestive blood transfusion come other sexual symbols from the deep past, like the medieval legend of Vlad the Impaler which inspires Dracula, with its body-piercing stakes, or the stone rapists in Edith Nesbit’s story 'Man-Size in Marble' (1896), two statues of brutal Norman knights which come alive at Halloween and stomp from the church to their former home in which a young couple are honeymooning. 7- In the chaste Victorian era, Gothic literature provided an outlet for the exploration of sexuality. The Gothic in mainstream Victorian fiction. “Withered, Wrinkled, and Loathsome of Visage: Reading the Ethics of the Soul and the Late-Victorian Gothic in the Picture of Dorian Gray.” In Victorian Gothic: Literary and Cultural Manifestations in the Nineteenth Century, edited by Ruth Robbins and Julian Wolfreys. Due to the ever-evolving class structure and secularisation, societal moral panics surrounding sexuality, consumption, and etiquette were a common thread. However, Twitchell does not take into account that Dorian’s attic is where the true face of the Gothic monster resides and where the climax of Basil’s murder eventually takes place after Dorian reveals the painting’s nature. To further understand the context of The Picture of Dorian Gray, it is important to understand the social issues present within Victorian society. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is a key example of these trends in Victorian Gothic literature. Here the heroine, like Lewis Carroll's Alice, creates dream visions through the looking-glass window she can see across the street. Whelan, Lara Baker. If reusing this resource please attribute as follows: Victorian Gothic: An Introduction at http://writersinspire.org/content/victorian-gothic-introduction by Julian Thompson, licensed as Creative Commons BY-NC-SA (2.0 UK). However, the genre did not truly take off until the Victorian era, which spanned most of the nineteenth-century. New York: Routledge 2010. In the chaste Victorian era, Gothic literature provided an outlet for the exploration of sexuality. Prostitution and Victorian Society: Women, Class and the State. Beasley, Edward. Amelia B. Edwards, 'The Phantom Coach' (1864) About as domestic as you can get is the setting of Madelene Yale Wynne's 'The Little Room'(1895) in which a 'little room' in a New England farmhouse regularly morphs into a china closet. The portrait reflects Dorian’s soul and shows him the consequence of his sin. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992. Lord Henry represents the nature of this hedonistic aestheticism, as he constantly makes controversial statements surrounding the nature of beauty and experiencing every sensation and pleasure. (Guy 177). London: Vintage, 2001. Read more Thomas, Donald. Together the two symbolize the resounding influence that the two men have had over Dorian’s development. Both Emily and Charlotte Brontë included intimations of the supernatural within narratives that were otherwise attentive to the realities of time, place and material constraint. Gothic Literature Dissertation Ideas: 24 Fresh Suggestions. The results can be seen in Tennyson’s fairy poems of the early 1830s, Charlotte Brontë hiding guilty secrets in the Gothic towers of Thornfield in Jane Eyre (1847), and the way Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Pit and the Pendulum' (1842) cruelly reconstructs the torture-chambers of the Spanish Inquisition. Most lists of Gothic fiction rightly include Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, but somehow manage to forget this book by the youngest Bronte sister. Guy, Josephine M. The Victorian Age: An Anthology of Sources and Documents. Arthur Conan Doyle, 'Lot No 249' (1892) As a literary phenomenon, the Victorian gothic manifests itself in fin-de-siècle literature both as a subversive supernatural force and as a mechanism for social critique. Kingston, Angela. Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles. The text focuses on a supposed psychological study of a Parisian man who experimented with the pleasures and sensations that are renounced as sin for the sake of nineteenth-century virtue (100). J. Sheridan Le Fanu, 'Authentic Narrative of the Ghost of a Hand' in The House by the Churchyard (1861), 'Green Tea' (1872), Carmilla (1872) The American writer Mary E. Wilkins, a prolific writer of good ghost stories, has a particularly poignant one, 'The Lost Ghost', in which a confused and shivering wraith-child is looking for her mother – for any warm, living mother. Thomas Hardy, 'The Withered Arm' (1888), 'Barbara of the House of Grebe' (1893) The history of Gothic literature dates back to 18th century England. 'Atavism', fear of regression to an earlier, less civilised state – the knights, we are told, belong back in 'Catholic times' – was a fear Victorian Gothic regularly played on. The major setting for scenes as depicted in Gothic literature are Victorian style huge mansions. Likewise, Dorian Gray’s immorality makes him monstrous though, unlike previous iterations of the monstrous Gothic antagonist that donned a grotesque aesthetic, Dorian is considered beautiful. Mary Elizabeth Braddon, 'The Shadow in the Corner' (1879), 'The Good Lady Ducayne' (1896) Its origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled (in its second edition) "A Gothic Story". The mummy is periodically brought to life by its owner, when it does service as a kind of hit-man, persecuting other undergraduates. The result of this was a call for social segregation of the working class for any further successful development of London suburbs (Ackroyd 523). But there is no window. Science as a discipline had existed for some time, but had steadily… Social entrepreneurs such as Charles Dickens advocated for the rights of women and children and spoke often about education reform for the working class (House 10). Robert Louis Stevenson also perpetuated this fear of internal threats from human nature itself with the publication of the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Britain: Fletcher & Son Ltd, 1973. ———. Here Professor Suzanne Daly explores the ‘Imperial Gothic’, examining the ways in which ‘otherness’ and Empire were depicted in Gothic novels such as Jane Eyre, The Moonstone, Dracula and Heart of Darkness. Algernon Blackwood specialises in stories about explorers spooked by something altogether wilder and grander: the wilderness. Lord Henry presents Dorian with an obscure book without a title that in his youth had shaped many of his opinions that he promotes (19). The climax of the text surrounds Dorian’s decision to hide the portrait and allow it to bear his sin as he becomes more obsessed with his own beauty and youth stating that, “eternal youth, infinite passion, pleasures subtle and secret, wild joys and wilder sins – he was to have all these things… the portrait was to bear the burden…” (85). A Guide to the Gothic by Jack Clark is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. United States: Duke University Press, 1981. Careers and opportunities. Whereas Dorian naively enacts Lord Henry’s philosophy whilst maintaining the façade of his manners and morality within the Victorian social landscape. Wilde uses the Metaphor of the picture in the attic to juxtapose Dorians own simultaneous superficial and visceral duplicity. Though Dorian engages in a hedonistic lifestyle that is never fully explored in the initial text, leaving much to the imagination, Dorian’s reputation in the public sphere does fall under scrutiny and scandal. Akin to other Gothic literature, Dorian’s portrait becomes the grotesque phantom that haunts his existence. Much of Poe’s writing and poetry depicts eerie, supernaturalistic scenes and elements. This cultural upheaval caused uncertainty and anxiety across the class threshold (Ackroyd 599). His associate Lord Henry is very interested to meet the boy who could inspire such artistic inspiration, but Basil is very protective of Dorian as he fears that his character could be manipulated under the wrong Influence. Schwarz, L.D. Through this duplicitous characterization, Wilde creates a more sinister creature outside the typical good and sublime, evil and grotesque binary of Victorian Gothic. Hawthorne shows how admirably Gothic can focus without synthesis the light and dark sides of human nature. The duality of morality and beauty was a key nature of this modern urban structure that was unfolding. New York: Routledge, 1996. Victorian Gothic: 1832-1901 "In the Victorian era, Gothic fiction had ceased to be a dominant literary genre. This fascination with this juxtaposition also extended to the home which was an example of how individuals could occupy both public and private space (30). Like all literature, late 19th century Gothic literature is to some degree a product of its social and cultural environments. This familiar quotation from William Faulkner can be applied not just to curses, but to the legion of demons, suicides, zombies and blood-drinkers which writers of Victorian Gothic drag from dusty tombs or lairs. Margaret Oliphant, 'The Library Window' (1896) Arguably one of the main figures in this rise of Victorian Gothic literature was the American writer, Edgar Allan Poe. In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. The Dickens World. They’re … Mid-Victorian Imperialists. Stevenson, Wilde and Bierce use realism to ground their stories, but Victorian Gothic likes to mix it with 'impossible things', as in the nonsense writings of Carroll and Lear. Gothic literature was a significant aspect of this counter-revolution in England, often being classed as romantic texts, while simultaneously invoking supernatural themes, reacting to the picturesque paradigm that was inherent in Victorian mentality which gave Wilde his inspiration (Whelan 100). New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980. This gains ground after the occupation of Egypt in 1882, which brought a flood of reanimated mummies and other tomb furniture onto the literary market. Basil is at the center of this ironic juxtaposition, often composing monologues about beauty and then referring to Dorian’s personality (13). Walkowitz, Judith R. City of Dreadful Delight: Narrative of Sexual Danger in Late Victorian London. Modern readers and critics have begun to think of Gothic literature as referring to any story that uses an elaborate setting, combined with supernatural or super-evil forces against an innocent protagonist. Gothic fiction(sometimes referred to as Gothic horror) is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horrorand romance. Algernon Blackwood, 'The Willows' (1908) and 'The Wendigo' (1910). Luckhurst, Rodger. Where other Gothic texts seek to expose insecurities of external pressures or anxiety, Wilde illuminates the danger of the superficial morality inherent with the confines of the fast progressing industrial urban empire. 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