If the gothic mode always uses the same conventions (dark, stormy night stuff) then how come it still manages to inspire us?I am trying to write an essay about dracula and another text and I am...

If the gothic mode always uses the same conventions (dark, stormy night stuff) then how come it still manages to inspire us?

I am trying to write an essay about dracula and another text and I am really surprised by how well the gothic mode holds my attention, even though it seems to be the same patterns over and over.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very valid point you are making.  I would say that Gothic conventions always seem to do something to our imaginations because it is set against the backdrop that creates a sense of wonderment and intrigue.  The notion of the dark and poorly lit castle, the exploration of the potentially sinister human motivations crossed with the supernatural or that which cannot be explained, and the complex emotional landscape seems to be a recipe where there is much in terms of attention holding and a sense of interest developed.  It is completely cliched, but it still works.  For example, Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" (pronounced, "Steen") is a parody of the genre, but still it works on many levels.  In my mind, few other conventions have the enduring impact that the Gothic one does.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am a strong believer that the Gothic novel has the fairy dust of eternal preservation because the themes it presents are so universal and the preoccupations are so ingrained in the psyche of our human nature that it is impossible not to connect immediately with those internal fears and doubts that lurk within us.

With Frankenstein, Dracula, Dorian Gray, Wuthering Heights and all those other delightful reads we have the basics of human curiosity: Life after death, the sense of belonging, the fear of isolation, and the question of whether there is something else out there higher than us.