Gothic Horror

Description of the Genre

Gothic fiction or Gothic horror is a genre that combines elements of both horror and romance. Gothic horror includes terror, mystery, the supernatural, ghosts, haunted houses, castles, darkness, death, decay and curses.

The characters can be villains, monks, nuns, femme fatales, magicians, vampires, werewolves, demons, angels, ghosts, skeletons and devils. The story often includes some of the following: howling wind, rain (especially blowing), doors grating on rusty hinges, footsteps approaching, clanking chains, lights in abandoned rooms, doors suddenly slamming shut, gusts of wind blowing out lights, characters trapped in a room, ruins of buildings, crazed laughter, thunder and lightening, baying of distant dogs or wolves, eerie sounds including sighs, moans and howls.

Text 1: The Raven - Edgar Allan Poe


http://dotsub.com/view/58591756-7128-488c-bfe9-22463d46d907

Exercises
a) Questions
Read the extract from The Raven below and complete the attached questions.

Alternatively, you could make your responses more interesting by trying one of these online tools:
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Text 2: Dracula pp 38 – 39 by Bram Stoker


Exercises
a) Questions
Read the Dracula extract below and complete the following questions in your Reading Journal. Alternatively, you could make your responses more interesting by trying one of these online tools:
voicethread_logo.jpg
Use text, images and audio!

glogster_logo.jpg
Present your responses as an online poster.

prezi.jpg
Create a dynamic presentation with Prezi!

bubblus_logo.jpg
Present your responses in an online mindmap.

wallwisher_logo.jpg
Create a presentation with sticky notes, images and more!



1. Explain how Bram Stoker creates tension in his writing. What words does he use to create this effect?
2. How does the vocabulary of the writer in this passage create a feeling of fear?
3. Describe the character of Dracula.
4. List the 10 effective adjectives and 10 strong verbs that the writer uses.
5. Why are vampire stories such a huge part of popular culture? Discuss examples of the many books, tv shows and movies
about vampires.
6. Why are we interested in such tales of horror and fear?
7. Stereotypically what do vampires look like?


b) Discussion
Respond to the following discussion.
Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Gripping language in 'Dracula' claire_murray claire_murray 1 244 May 22, 2012 by grace.elliott grace.elliott


c) Genre Features
Open the Word document below and use Track Changes to complete this activity by using the Highlighting and Comment tool.


How many of these features appear in the story?
  • Setting in a castle
  • An atmosphere of mystery and suspense
  • An ancient prophesy
  • Omens, visions
  • Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events
  • High, even overwrought emotion
  • Women in distress
  • Women threatened by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male

d) Creative Writing
Length: 200 – 300 words

a. Write your own version of how the Dracula story ends. OR
b. Through further research online, describe Dracula's appearance and how he is able to create a sense of fear and dread amongst those who encounter him.


Text 3: Frankenstein Chapter 17 by Mary Shelley

frankenstein.jpg
Exercises
a) Questions
Read the passage below from Frankenstein and complete the questions below in your Reading Journal. Alternatively, you could make your responses more interesting by trying one of these online tools listed above.
  1. What do these words mean?
  2. Explain in detail Frankenstein's character from what you read in this passage. What sort of being is he? Why is he so angry and cruel?
  3. What does Frankenstein want? Why does the author not want to help him?
  4. How does the author create tension in this passage?


b) Genre Features
Open the Word document below and use Track Changes to complete this activity by using the Highlighting and Comment tool.


How many of these features appear in the story?
  • Setting in a castle
  • An atmosphere of mystery and suspense
  • An ancient prophesy
  • Omens, visions
  • Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events
  • High, even overwrought emotion
  • Women in distress
  • Women threatened by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male



c) Creative Writing
Length: 200 – 300 words
If you were able to create a monster like Frankenstein, explain how you would do it. What sort of a monster would you create?

Recommended Gothic Horror Fiction

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Frankenstein by Shelley, M -

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The Hound of the Baskervilles by Conan Doyle, A -

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The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M. T. Anderson (2007)

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman (2008)

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)

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Evernight Claudia Gray (2009)

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The Mortal Instruments Triolgy Casssandra Clare (2007)

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The Enemy Charlie Higson (2009)

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The House of Night series P.C. Cast (2008)

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Peeps Scott Westerfeld (2006)

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Wicked Lovely Melissa Marr (2007)

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The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde (1891)

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)