11.15 English: Gothic Writing across Time

“The beach teemed with tourists from boardwalk to shore. A canopy of colorful umbrellas covered the sand. Each was preoccupied with his own happy task, and none noticed the figure as it emerged from the surf.

Its skin was blistered and raw, and it lumbered awkwardly in the foam. Its hideous eyes hungrily appraised the masses.”How does the excerpt exemplify the ideas King describes in “Danse Macabre”?

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It provides a “single powerful spectacle” for the imagination’s eye.

“How was this vile nervous fit, for such I now persuaded myself it was, to be conquered? I determined to force myself not to look at the painting but to undress quickly and get into bed. I began to undress, but in spite of every effort I could not keep myself from stealing a glance every now and then at the picture; and a glance was now sufficient to distress me. Even when my back was turned to it, the idea of this strange face behind me, peering over my shoulder, was insufferable.” How does the excerpt exemplify Gothic fiction?
by revealing an unhinged psychological state

“At least ten minutes had passed since the last locker door slammed.

I had lurked long enough in the deserted shower stall, ruminating on my devious plan. I emerged to see the vacant room I’d anticipated. Within minutes, I had deciphered the locker combination and opened it without witness. This was my chance to reclaim what was rightfully mine, and I felt my heartbeat escalate.

“Which best describes the tone of the excerpt?


“The downy pillow covered his ears but did not mask the sound. Sleep eluded him for hours, and he heard it still: a persistent scraping in the corner of his room. Sitting upright at last, he peered into the darkness. It was as he’d suspected. His uncle’s trunk, an old army footlocker, was the source of the sound. Fine then, he could resolve this mystery.

He swung his legs to the floor with conviction.”How does the excerpt exemplify the ideas King describes in “Danse Macabre”?

It allows readers to approach a “forbidden door.”

“The expression was that of agony—the agony of intense bodily pain; but a menace scowled upon the brow, and a few sprinklings of blood added to its ghastliness. Yet it was not all these characteristics—it was some horror of the mind, some inscrutable antipathy awakened by this picture, which harrowed up my feelings.”What technique does Irving use to build suspense in the excerpt?
The word choice darkens the tone.

Which excerpt from “The Adventure of the Mysterious Picture” conveys the eerie tone of the passage?
As I heard the wind moan among the trees, I caught a reflection of this accursed visage in the pane of glass, as though it were staring through the window at me.

“I stood against the far wall of the shabby lobby avoiding eye contact with the doorman as my dad checked us in for the night. We’d hoped to make it as far as Scranton, but the weather had interfered, leaving us instead at an eyesore of a truck-stop motel. My ear buds were jammed in as far as comfort would allow in a vain attempt to block out the motel’s vibe. Still, I could not ignore the looming presence of the doorman. He stood in the dim portico, sweeping and re-sweeping a pile of lint on the floor, watching the parking lot with his watery eyes, and occasionally signaling to the whiskered clerk behind the desk.

“How does this excerpt generate suspense?

Odd characters are introduced.

“The young docent welcomed the class to the museum, explaining that the east wing was under construction and he’d be leading them to the first exhibit. His fingers leapt to his name tag as he nervously introduced himself as ‘Liam, a student of the arts.’ Then he bade the group follow him. They traversed a vaulted hall lined with hulking objects, each one obscured by a faded tarpaulin.

Some of the items stretched across the floor, others cast long shadows on the museum walls.”How does this excerpt generate suspense?

intentionally omitting setting details

“All this was half muttered to myself, as I hastily slipped on my clothes; which having done, I groped my way out of the room, and down-stairs to the drawing-room. Here, after tumbling over two or three pieces of furniture, I made out to reach a sofa, and stretching myself upon it determined to bivouac there for the night.

“What technique does Irving use to build suspense in the excerpt?

NOT The setting details are intentionally omitted.

“After two hours of a tedious cinematic production, the dim aisle lights flickered back on. Having endured scenes of fake gore and the phony distress of deficient actors, I stood to leave with a measure of relief. I would breathe easy in the open air, away from the greasy odors and the sniffling man whose cough had noisily barked over the on-screen dialogue.

My steps slowed as the queue of exiting patrons jammed the aisles. Then the sliver of light from the exit door went dark. The theater was briefly silent, and I heard the unmistakable sound of a deadbolt locking.”What technique does the author use to build suspense in the excerpt?

NOT The word choice darkens the tone.

The feeling that “everything will turn out all right in the end” is / is not a characteristic of suspense.
Is not

The feeling of shivers down the spine is / is not a characteristic of suspense.

This genre is a combination of horror and romance, and usually includes elements of the supernatural
Gothic literature

One of the greatest American Gothic writers, who wrote “The Headless Horseman” and “Sleepy Hollow.”
Washington Irving

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