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The World of Imaginaton

Dissertation : The World of Imaginaton. Recherche parmi 299 000+ dissertations

Par   •  28 Avril 2018  •  Dissertation  •  743 Mots (3 Pages)  •  713 Vues

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To begin, I'm going to present you the notion « The World of Imagination ».

Imagination is the ability to think about something which don't exist. This mental faculty permits us to create worlds and universes different from our. The point is to escape from reality, and sometimes to understand our world and to critic this one.

In the Gothic Literature, there is a form of imagination. Of course, the word Gothic originally describes a style of European architecture which flourished from the 12th through the 18th century. In 1764 is published The Castle Of Otranto by Horace Walpole, regarded as the first true Gothic novel.  Even if the genre has evolved, Gothic fiction includes mystery, terror, supernatural and darkness and combines fiction, horror but also Romanticism. The main characters are evil aristocratic, vampires or persecuted maidens. This tales place in different settings, draw his inspiration from the Middle Age, as decaying castle, full of hidden passage, and religious edifices as abbeys and haunted churches. There are many authors who contributed to the development, the codification and the diversification of this genre.

So, what forms took the Gothic Literature since the 18th century ?

We'll illustrate this questioning with some works and these authors.

First of all, we'll study an extract of the novel Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen published in 1818. The story is about Catherine Morland who has been invited to stay at her friend's home. Catherine is a fanatic reader of Gothic Literature, and she's sure that the home contains secrets and mysteries. During her first night, she believes she has discovered an old manuscript in her room.

This novel is a pure parody of Gothic Fiction. If we analyse this extract it's to show how Jane Austen appropriated the Gothic Fiction's codes to laugh at it, and propose to the readers a real  parody. The comic of the scene is represented by several elements:

- the story take place in an abbey, a typical place of the 18th century Gothic novel. In the others tales of Gothic Fiction, the abbey would be haunted, but here the place is inhabited. So, the discovery of an old manuscript and the danger of Catherine is ridiculous.

- the comic is represented also by the paranoia of Catherine. The author uses some classical terms of Gothic Fiction, such “Human nature could support no more”. Catherine is described as a grotesque figure.

- moreover, the author exaggerates many times, as the utilisation of exclamation with “Alas!” or question to mock about the discovery of a pretend manuscript. We have also the adverbs as “absolutely” and also the expression “a lamp could not have expired with more awful effect” which refers to the exaggeration of the details.

To continue, we'll study the novel Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley published in 1818. The story is about Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who discovered the secret of animating lifeless matters, and, by assembling body parts, creates a monster who vows revenge on his creator after being rejected from society. The chapter 5 is about the birth of the creature and the reaction of Victor Frankenstein.

In this extract, Mary Shelley resumes the codes of the Gothic Fiction: her description creates a claustrophobic atmosphere, especially with the rain and the lack of light. The other elements is the feelings of Victor. Here, the author reuses some typical expression of Gothic Literature, such “No mortal could support the horror of that countenance”. The frightening aspects is represented also by the monster and his description with the terms “yellow skin” for example.


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