American Gothic Literature

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American Gothic Literature

1. The Adventure of The German Student / Washington Irving
The Adventure of The German Student consists a few of the elements which compile Gothic stories. This story tells the happenings of a young German student, Gottfried Wolfgang. Wolfgang is described as a man of good family, but also as a person who is intensely immersed in the mystical side of existence. As a student, he dedicated himself to his studies, until both his physical health and imagination have become "diseased" ("he took up a notion, I do not know from what cause, that there was an evil influence hanging over him"). His family and friends, who watched him get melancholy and morbidly obsessed with the dark side, decided to send him to complete his studies in France, in order for him to be happily influenced by "the splendor and gayeties of Paris". Wolfgang arrived to Paris in the beginning of the Reign of Terror (the French Revolution) and witnessed scenes of butchery and cruelty which gained the exact opposite of what his friends and family aimed for; He had become even more introverted and consumed with his own private, dark world of imagination. Little by little Wolfgang also becomes sexually obsessed. The quote describes the beginning of the process, while using the element of a dream state (one of the elements of gothic literature) Since Wolfgang is too shy to actually approach a woman, he gives himself over to romantic and erotic dreams, in which one particular woman face appears. This woman becomes the focus of his desires, and he dreams about her again and again, until the point of madness.

2. The Tell – Tale Heart / Edgar Allan Poe
The Tell – Tale Heart is told in first person narration by an unnamed narrator. The narrator lives with an old man (some kind of a father figure, the narrator doesn't elaborate on that) who has a blue, pale, filmy eye,…...

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