What are some gothic elements used in the story "The Birds"?

There are many gothic elements in “The Birds,” such as the eerie, dismal setting, and the focus on death, fear, and survival. The way the birds are attacking people and cannot be killed is also a supernatural element that is characteristic of gothic literature.

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Daphne Du Maurier’s short story “The Birds” includes many gothic elements. Gothic literature typically explores intense fear and human emotions in life or death situations. Du Maurier’s story is a frightening tale in which birds are inexplicitly attacking and killing humans—a very gothic plot. The setting of the story is also quite gothic, as gothic literature is typically set in a dismal, gloomy places. The coastal English town where Nat and his family live has an eerie, remote feel to it. The way the family ends up huddled in their house, desperate to defend themselves against the birds’ attacks, also creates a suspenseful, ominous feeling that is common in a great deal of gothic literature.

Gothic literature also often explores death and includes supernatural elements. The way that the birds are attacking people all over England in this story is a supernatural phenomenon that humans cannot control or explain. By including this element, Du Maurier is able to bring attention to the way people are prideful and explore how people react to scary situations. The characters in the story are also becoming increasingly aware of their own mortality. They recognize that the birds will probably not stop and that their death is imminent. This focus on the unavoidable nature of death in a suspenseful setting is a prominent gothic element.

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