Comment on the setting of Gothic novels.

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is important to realise the psychological nature of Gothic fiction. Gothic literature places characters in extreme, isolated and desolate settings, that indicate symbolically the way that they are pushed to the edge of human civilisation and of their own understanding of what they hear and see in the Gothic novels of which they are a part. Thus it is that if we look at a range of Gothic novels, we can see that the kind of settings that are used are those that reflect this isolation and expose their characters' weaknesses, vulnerability and psychological understanding of what is happening to them. Have you ever noticed that it is much easier to assume that something spooky or supernatural is going on when it is dark or when you are all by yourself in the middle of nowhere? So it is that novels such as The Turn of the Screw by Henry James or Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen are set in isolated mansions and family homes. Wuthering Heights is set in an extremely isolated part of the Yorkshire Moors, a place that is subject to extreme weather conditions, and the Gothic classic Frankenstein has a variety of locations, including an isolated, almost deserted island of the Orkneys in Scotland, the wilds of the Arctic and on top of a mountain. All of these settings of course suggest and reinforce that the characters are operating on the fringes of civilisation and respectability.

eternallylovable | Student

the word gothic originally referred to the goths an ancient germanic tribe.gothic novel or gothic romance is a genre of prose fiction inspired by horace walpole`s The Castle of Otranto.the novels are characterised by romantic adventures in frightening setting.the setting is grand but bleak and disturbing tampered with a mood of decay and supernatural inventions.the locale was often a gloomy castle furnished with dungeons, subterranean passages and sliding panels.the typical story revolves around the suffering of an honest,virgin heroine imposed by a cruel villain.the characters often carried around them a chequered past or an aura of mystery that hid dreadful secrets.the aim of these novels was to evoke chilling horror and terror though the genre is not entirely similar to horror fiction.