writing for my EN-318 Gothic Literature course. The directions are as follows:
- an analysis of Bram Stoker’s Dracula
- the analysis must be one of the following Gothic themes in the attached document
- the format of the essay is as follows:
Describe the theme, element of fiction, or critical approach that you’re focusing on—not by announcing it (Ex: “In this paper I will…”), but by making a statement about how your focus relates to what you believe is the purpose of the writer.
Provide specific examples of your focus from the reading, referring to specific page numbers of descriptions and using transitional words and phrases (similarly, moreover, however, nevertheless, as a result, etc.) to show connections between ideas, directly quoting when you believe the language is especially descriptive and should not be paraphrased and paraphrasing or summarizing when you wish to convey the plot without necessarily focusing on the language used in the description. Include page numbers for both quotes and paraphrases.
Explain the significance of your focus and how analyzing the writer’s techniques in relation to your chosen focus enhances your understanding and appreciation of the reading. You could also describe how elements of the reading applied not only when it was written but also today, or apply not only to fiction but also to real life. If you do so, this shouldn’t be brought up for the first time in your conclusion but should be an extension of a point you’ve already made in your essay.
EN 318 Gothic Literature – Gothic Themes in Relation to Elements of Fiction
You can use these questions to identify how themes in the readings are portrayed through the use of fictional
elements. You should consider them as you read and may wish to use them as starting points for comments or
papers if you wish. Not all themes will apply to all readings, but these ones appear frequently in gothic
literature. You might also think of others as you read.
Good vs. Evil or Virtue vs. Vice
How do characters personify goodness or evil?
Are the characters flat, with only good or evil traits, or are they round, with both or neither?
In the story, does good or evil triumph, or neither?
Enclosure vs. Freedom
How does description of setting relate to enclosed or open spaces in the reading?
How does this relate to the experience of the characters?
How does this treatment of space relate to the theme?
Weakness vs. Strength or Courage vs. Cowardice
How is physical strength related to mental/psychological strength of the characters?
Does the “strong” or “weak” character triumph in the reading?
Is there any irony in the character who actually does triumph?
Subconscious vs. Conscious
Is there a conflict, or irony, between what the character(s) consciously acknowledge and what they seem to be
How are the subconscious and conscious portrayed through description of plot, setting, and/or symbolism?
Death vs. Life
What symbols in the reading show qualities of death (decay, degeneration) and/or life (rejuvenation,
How do the characters themselves show a desire for death or life?
What does the reading show about what causes something or someone to live vs.what causes something or
someone to die?
Old Age vs. Youth
How are the qualities of old age or youth portrayed through characters in the reading?
How are these qualities portrayed as desirable, undesirable, or neither?
How is the passage of time, or mortality conveyed through plot, symbols, and/or characters in the reading?
How is eternal youth, or immortality conveyed through plot, symbols, and/or characters in the reading?
Poverty vs. Wealth
How are these qualities conveyed through character and setting description in the reading?
How are these qualities related to who has the power in the reading, who is powerless, and/or any power shifts?
Illusion vs. Reality
How are the rational and the irrational portrayed in the reading’s characters and/or plot?
What is the difference between what the characters believe they see or experience through other senses (sound,
smell, touch, or taste) and what is actually the case?
How does the character or characters not trusting their own senses or comprehension relate to the events in the