The Influence Of Gothic Elements In 'House Of Reckoning'

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House of Reckoning by John Saul has many Gothic influences present within the storyline but there are a few differences too. The setting, a crucial element that helps establish the atmosphere, are various lonely and remote locations but not the regular places from the eighteenth century. For example, there were no old castles or empty churches in House of Reckoning, which was a norm for the early gothic novels, but instead, House of Reckoning had an old and dilapidated mansion that used to be an asylum for the criminally insane. The atmosphere has a threatening feeling which comes from numerous people in the lives of Sarah and Nick, like Angie and Mitch Garvey, Shep Dunnigan, and Connor West. A few supernatural events occurred in the story. Some helped build up the tension and fear while others became major events within the story. What further helped to build the mysterious atmosphere were the visions that Nick would see. They were horrific hallucinations that could attack him at any time, and as the plotline progressed, they foreshadowed the coming events. There were also many diverse emotions shown in House of Reckoning. Many of the characters experienced events that had them terrified, panicked, and surprised. Anger and sorrow were also feelings that some characters had. However, crying and emotional…show more content…
Nick has violent, insane, and disturbing hallucinations that could happen at any moment, and almost always hears angry and savage voices in his head. The only times his head has utter silence is when he’s with Sarah. Sarah has artistic abilities. In the story, she paints or draws powerful and depraving scenes that Nick hallucinates at the same time. Near the climax of House of Reckoning, the main characters finds the 17 dead criminals down in the basement and Sarah takes one bone from each of them and paints Bettina’s rape scene, where she ultimately learns who was the

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