Gothic Literature

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What is the work of the Gothic period focused on?

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Gothic literature describes a style of fiction which developed and became popular in the late eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries. Such writing developed with the intention of speaking to a sense of disquiet in readers' minds and as a rejection of Enlightenment literature, which emphasized the quantifiable and logical nature of the world. Gothic novels are characterized by themes of death, horror, and tragic relationships. The mood of the Gothic novel is altogether foreboding, with stories often taking place in settings which once were grand but have since fallen into disrepair. The dilapidated castle, the crumbling monastery, and the old haunted house are staples of Gothic setting. Supernatural elements are quite common in this genre, in the form of ghosts or humanoid beasts, like the monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. 

Gothic literature deals very much with morality, and uses such dark or macabre settings to reflect a perceived societal moral decay. Gothic fiction is heavily influenced by the cultural attitude that beauty and morality are tied to one another. Villains in this genre are often physically marked as abnormal in some way as a result of or in occurrence with their sins. In this way, spiritual ugliness translates to physical ugliness. 

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