Gothic Literature

Select one question from the list below. Note that you must write your response on at least two
new works, and you may not write on the text on which you wrote Assessment 1. See guidelines,
above.
Question 1
The male gothic presents a narrative founded on the refusal of the protagonist to be anything
other than the apex predator.
Critically analyse this statement in relation to the works you have studied this semester.
Question 2
Critically analyse the significance of the Wandering Jew figure in the gothic works you have
studied this semester.
Question 3
“Gothic cusp” is a term originally used to explain Radcliffe’s work. How useful is the term for
understanding gothic works even beyond Radcliffe’s?
Question 4
In gothic novels, legal documents prove to be women’s worst tyrants. Critically analyse this
statement in light of the texts you have studied this semester.
Question 5
“My thesis is this: I want you to believe.”
“To believe what?”
“To believe in things that you cannot.”
Dracula, p.180
Critically analyse the way in which the gothic demands that one believes the unbelievable and
accepts the unacceptable.
102507 The Gothic – Final Essay 2019
Question 6
To what extent is gender inversion the essence of gothic horror? Critically assess this idea in
relation to the texts you have studied this semester.
Question 7
‘How!’ said the Friar to himself; ‘Antonia reads the Bible, and is still so ignorant?’

Yet this is the Book which young Women are recommended to study; which is put into the
hands of Children, able to comprehend little more than those passages of which they had
better remain ignorant; and which but too frequently inculcates the first rudiments of vice,
and gives the first alarm to the still sleeping passions. Of this was Elvira so fully convinced,
that She would have preferred putting into her Daughter’s hands ‘Amadis de Gaul…’
The Monk, p. 199
Critically analyse the extent to which the gothic can be said to overturn traditional hierarchies
of moral or literary value (or both).
Question 8
“Many times I considered Satan the fitter emblem of my condition; for often, like him, when
I viewed the bliss of my protectors, the bitter gall of envy rose within me.”
Frankenstein, p. 90
Critically analyse the ways in which allegiance to false idols and misguided role models drives
the gothic plot