What are the features of a Gothic novel?
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'Gothic' comes from 'Goth' and primarily directly us to the grand structures of Gothic art and architecture. When applied to literature, it refers to a particular kind of horror genre that went on to establish itself in England during the first half of the 19th century as a part of the Romantic movement. Gothic novel as a genre was established by texts like Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto and Mrs. Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho and M.G. Lewis's The Monk. The standard trope in a Gothic novel is the eerie setting of a Gothic mansion, ghosts, shadows, vampires and goblins and a spectrally troubled woman. Dealing with the Burkian notion of the sublime, the subjective experience of the Gothic centred itself around the feelings of awe and horror, adding to the imaginative vicissitudes of the Romantic cult. But with the onset of the Victorian period, the novel of history and social realism came much into vogue for gothic to hold on to its popularity. Edgar Poe used it in a more psychological way, almost anticipating modernism, in his short stories; a novel like Frankenstein was written that wonderfully combined the Gothic with socio-political and aesthetic allegory. Even today, Gothic elements in many modern and post-modern novels. In films, directors like Polanski have taken it far.