Gothic Elements in the Fall of the House of Usher《厄舍府的倒塌》中的哥特元素毕业论文

 2021-04-02 01:04

摘 要




As a renowned American poet, novelist and literary critic in the 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe is also regarded as the inventor of detective novel and the master of horror fiction. Poe stands for the peak of Gothic literature. The themes of death become the hallmark of his works. His dark romanticism tremendously influenced literary development. Poe’s horror fiction filled with Gothic elements, create mysterious and macabre atmosphere. He developed horror fictions from external fears concerned by people to internal fears. This paper first introduces Poe’s background and Gothic literature. And then with the introduction of The Fall of the House of Usher, the paper analyzes The Fall of the House of Usher from the perspective of plot, characters, atmosphere and psychology to manifest the Gothic elements in this novel. The paper also compares The Fall of the House of Usher with Ligeia to give a clear understanding of Poe’s high status in literary history and his profound influence on the later Gothic novels.

Key words: Edgar Allan Poe; The Fall of the House of Usher; horror fiction; Gothic elements

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

1.1 An Introduction to Edgar Allan Poe and Gothic Fiction 1

1.2 An Introduction to The Fall of the House of Usher 2

1.3 The Significance of the Research 2

1.4 Organization of the Paper 3

2 Literature Review 4

2.1 Overseas Researches on Edgar Allan Poe and His Works 4

2.2 Domestic Researches on Edgar Allan Poe and His Work 5

3 Major Gothic Elements in The Fall of the House of Usher 5

3.1 The Suspenseful Plot 5

3.2 The Gloomy Atmosphere 7

3.3 The Description of the Psychology of Protagnists 8

4 Application of Symbolism in Highlighting Gothic Themes 9

4.1 The Title and Name 9

4.2 The Ancient Mansion 10

4.3 The Violent Storm 10

5 Enlightenment to Understanding Ligeia 11

5.1 The Creepy Plot of Ligeia 11

5.2 Similarities between the Relationships of Major Characters 12

5.3 Similarities between the Decaying Settings 13

6 Conclusion 14

References 15

Appendix 16

Acknowledgements 17

Gothic Elements in The Fall of the House of Usher

1 Introduction

1.1 An Introduction to Edgar Allan Poe and Gothic Fiction

Edgar Allan Poe is one of the renowned novelists in the 19th century. Although his life is short, he wrote more than seventy short stories. Poe’s life was permeated by highs and lows, which directly reacted in his literary works. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809. When he was only a three-year-old boy, his father left the family and his mother died of tuberculosis. Thus orphaned, John and Frances Allan took Poe to their home in Richmond, Virginia and they became Poe’s foster parents. In 1826, Poe attended University of Virginia, where he dropped out because of heavy debt (Chen, 2015). Since then, Poe had a strained relation with John Allan. Soon he moved to Boston in which he published his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems in 1827. In 1828, he was stone-broke and enlisted into the army. However, when Poe was in West Point, he declared that he wants to be a writer, finally he was expelled. After he left West Point, he separated ways with his foster father. Poe went to Baltimore, to live with his aunt Maria Clemm. It was at this time that Poe marred his cousin, Virginia, who was only thirteen years old. At the same time, Poe started writing short stories. In 1845, one of Poe’s most famous poems The Raven was published (Cui, 2015). It was this poem that laid the foundation of his writing style. Two years later, his wife passed away.

It is not hard to see that Poe endured much pain in his childhood and adulthood, which led to his obsession with death. He re-interpreted the horror and romance with his psychological exploration of death and insanity. As one of the greatest writer of Gothic fictions, Poe developed Gothic literature to a new level.

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