Patterns Of Fear In Gothic Literature

908 Words4 Pages
This first part attempts to point out the various aspects of “fear” in the context of Gothic literature in order to underline its diversity. In addition, three literary critics will be introduced that dealt with “fear” in Gothic Fiction and their attempt to describe it. The definition of fear is very complex because as Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) accurately clarifies fear is one of the oldest human emotions (12). Lovecraft, who wrote horror stories himself, is an important author to consider when dealing with the representation of horror in Gothic fiction. Apart from producing works with Gothic elements, he wrote a very detailed essay on horror, which he called “Supernatural Horror in Literature”. There, he further evaluates that…show more content…
There, she focuses on menace and deception as patterns of fear. Besides, she names three further patterns of this emotion which are “reverence and awe”, the phobic fear, and fear as a response to physical or social danger (11). One type of fear expresses “reverence and awe” and thus, it does not appear entirely unpleasant compared to the other forms and might not be expected in the Gothic realm (Tracy, 5). Nevertheless, this kind of fear is a common feature in Gothic literature because it is part of the concept of the sublime (Tracy, 5). Although this concept inappropriately seems to be a mere romantic one, it is found in the Gothic as well because the Gothic is part of Romanticism and thus, deals with the sublime nature, too but in rather dark and gloomy way. A further variety of fear is the phobic, which is a rather individual fear because the object that evokes fear varies from person to person. For example, some people feel fear when being in a small room which is called claustrophobia. The first part of the word is the participle form derived from the Latin verb “claudere” which means “to close”. Because the phobic fear itself is already a complex concept, Tracy argues that its study is unrewarding for a literary critic dealing with the fear in gothic literature (5 f.). This might only be interesting from a psychological point of view (Tracy,

    More about Patterns Of Fear In Gothic Literature

      Open Document