ENG3407 Gothic Literature and Culture, Fall 2020

A City Tech OpenLab course site

Final Exam Information for ENG3407

Final Exam ENG3407, Gothic Literature and Culture

Fall 2020, Prof. Sean Scanlan


DEADLINE: Midnight, December 16


OVERALL DIRECTIONS:  Copy the exam to a word processing program such as MS Word or Google Docs, then type your answers below each question. This is an “open book” exam, which means you can and should use your class notes, OpenLab, and the handouts that we have studied. Proofread your work. Use a spell/grammar check. When you are ready to submit, copy and paste the entire exam (questions and answers) into the body of an email. Then, email to me before midnight, December 16. Use your City Tech email. In the subject line type your full name and ENG3407 final exam.  [do not post your exam to OpenLab]



Section 1: Definitions (20 points; 10 points each)


Directions: Briefly define each term; state how the paired terms differ from each other; state who is associated with each term; and provide a brief, concrete example from our texts.


  1. Fantastic and Marvelous



  1. Terror and Horror





Section 2: Quotation Identification (45 point; 15 points each)


Directions: Choose 3 out of these 4 quotations. For each quotation write a brief paragraph in which you: identify the title, author, and main characters; reveal why the quotation is important; and explain how it connects to—or reveals—the gothic.


And he marched about the house turning off the voice clocks, the stoves, the heaters, the shoe shiners, the shoe lacers, the body scrubbers and swabbers and massagers, and every other machine he could put his hand to.

The house was full of dead bodies, it seemed. It felt like a mechanical cemetery.



I am doing this all by myself, now, at last; this is me, I am really really really doing it by myself.

In the unending, crashing second before the car hurled into the tree she thought clearly, Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this? Why don’t they stop me?


“They do say,” Mr. Adams said to Old Man Warner, who stood next to him, “that over in the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery.”

Old Man Warner snorted. “Pack of crazy fools,” he said. “Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live that way for a while. Used to be a saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.’ First thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There’s always been a lottery,” he added petulantly. “Bad enough to see young Joe Summers up there joking with everybody.”

“Some places have already quit lotteries.” Mrs. Adams said.


I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both; and from an early date, even before the course of my scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked possibility of such a miracle, I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements. If each, I told myself, could but be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was unbearable.




Section 3: (35 points)


Directions: Choose one Essay Question and develop a multi-paragraph essay.

1–Write an essay in which you examine the gothic in terms of gender and sexuality. Consider, for example, how earlier authors such as Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Louis Stevenson described gender and sexual dynamics in ways quite different from more recent authors such as Shirley Jackson. It may be helpful to use the terms liminality and Gothic Homesickness to explore connections. Students may consider whether or not gender roles have become less stable or whether or not sexuality is at the heart of the gothic. And it may help to consider queer theory and/or the central gothic irony. Compare at least two different authors and use concrete examples from our course readings. Begin with a strong thesis, pay attention to organization, and use the specific terms we have discussed and defined this semester.


2–Write an essay in which you examine how the uncanny works in one or more of our texts. In this essay, students should make an argument about the validity and usefulness of the uncanny. For example, is the uncanny the most important element of gothic literature, or is it simply one smaller aspect of gothic literature? Make sure to describe and define the uncanny according to one (or more) of the critics (Todorov, Freud, Vidler) that we have examined this semester. Students may find it helpful to examine how the uncanny reveals the ways in which fictional characters are treated within families or within group settings. Begin with a strong thesis, use concrete examples from our course readings, and pay attention to organization.



DEADLINE: Midnight, December 16


Email any question.

Best wishes,

Prof. Scanlan


Important Information for Final’s Week

Hi Class,

Today (12/9) was our last class! Thank you for sticking with me during this tough semester. I hope that you learned a lot and even found some ideas to take with you into the future.


End of Semester Information:


Final Essay Deadline: Monday, Dec 14 Midnight!!!!

Method: post to OpenLab (Category: Final Essay)

Helpful tip: read over the essay instructions and the student example on OpenLab, use Purdue Owl for help with quotations and Works Cited. See my Proofreading Advice at the end of this long post.



Final Exam Deadline: Wednesday, Dec 16 Midnight!!!

NOTE: I will post the Final Exam to OpenLab by 5pm on Friday.

Method: Use a spell/grammar check and send to me via City Tech email.

NOTE: Make sure to type a clear subject line: Full name, ENG3407 Final Exam


Late work: deadline is Monday, Dec 14 Midnight!!!


** SETs—student evaluation of teaching? Please fill out this form (it was sent to your City Tech Email)

** Missing work: email me ASAP

** I will have office hours this week and next.



Exam Review: the exam will consist of three sections. First section: short definition and example. Second Section: Quotation Identification. Third Section: brief essay. The exam is designed to take roughly 1:15 to complete, but take the time that you need. Make sure to proofread, revise, and spell/grammar check before emailing your exam to me. You may use your notes and the website while writing the exam.



  • SOP, from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat”
  • Gothic Definitions: Actions, Emotions, Hallmarks, Elements
  • CGI, Gothic Definitions handout, Lloyd-Smith
  • Todorov: Uncanny, Marvelous, Fantastic
  • Freud: Uncanny
  • Redemption: OpenLab
  • Gothic Architecture: OpenLab
  • Architectural Uncanny: Anthony Vidler
  • Multiple terms related to narrative: 5 part reading tool plus 3 types of irony (not including CGI)
  • Terror/Horror— Radcliffe
  • Queer theory–OpenLab
  • Focal point/focalizer, Sarcasm, paradox
  • Gothic Homesickness



  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • “The Fall of the House of Usher” Two versions
  • “Invisible Man”
  • The Black Cat”
  • “The Lottery”
  • “The Veldt”


Revising and Proofreading Advice:

  1. Offer to trade essays with a classmate.
  2. Read the essay out loud. Enunciate each word. If something is wrong, the ear usually picks it up.
  3. Read “backwards.” This is a technique used by professional editors and proofreaders: starting at the end of your essay, read each sentence in reverse order (don’t read the words in reverse order).
  4. Revise each topic sentence to reveal exactly what the paragraph is trying to claim/assert.
  5. Replace all weak verbs with strong verbs; change passive verbs to active verbs.
  6. Make sure that topic sentences are aligned with the thesis. Do they help support the overall thesis? They should.
  7. Make sure that the thesis, topic sentences, and conclusion speak to each other–that they are linked. Revise as needed.
  8. Make sure that commas are inside the quotations.
  9. Make sure to use grammar check and spell check. Set the grammar check in MS Word to “formal.”


Stay healthy and best wishes to all!


Prof. Scanlan

Homework and Info for Wednesday, Dec 9

Hi Class,

Thanks for those really great presentations. I could tell that you all worked hard to fit the class terms and literature to those spaces.


*Please remember to fill out the SETs (Student Evaluation of Teaching) that were sent to your City Tech email.

*All late work/missing work is due on Monday, Dec 14 at midnight. Email me if you have questions.

*The final essay deadline is Dec 14 at midnight (post to OpenLab)


Homework for Wednesday (last class):

*Prep, finish, and post your photos/videos to OpenLab if you still have to present.

*Bring your notes for a final exam review. Also, bring in any questions about your final essay.

[note: the final essay is due Dec 14; the final exam will be posted on Dec 11 and due (emailed to me) on Wednesday, Dec 16]



Prof. Scanlan

Homework and Notes for Monday, Dec 7

Hi Class,

I realize that I sprinted through a lot of material today. Here’s a recap:


1–Review the Gothic Homesickness handout. It might prove useful for your presentation, the final essay, or the final exam. [Readings]


2–Review page 5 of Lloyd-Smith for a closer inspection of the Central Gothic Irony. [Readings]


3–Queer Theory [Johns Hopkins Guide, in Readings]


4–Review the Critical Article by Darryl Hattenhauer and Doubles…162-5. [Readings]

• The ideas of QT help us make sense of this uneven desire and repulsion, and is sometimes connected to the gothic.

• Towards a definition of QT … in five words: radical deconstruction of sexual rhetoric

* QT develops links between progressive activism, poststructuralism, and the problematic of sexuality

* QT is not a settled theory, but it does borrow from the instability of language and the contingency of history; it interrogates binary relationships such as masculine/feminine, sex/gender, closeted/out, center/margin

* QT claims that too often critical analysis of homosexual/heterosexual definitions are absent

* QT considers sexuality as a performance, and it is therefore an unstable and volatile site for negotiation and struggle

*QT has helped the word queer to become domesticated; it is no longer negative word

*QT invests in close reading; and it is concerned where desire, sexuality, and bodies are seen in language

Questions that QT helps us ask:

1—Who has power in a relationship? What is the source of the power? Money, physical size, emotional intelligence, etc

2—Is power being used in connection to desire or sexuality?

3—Is someone using gender or desire/sexuality against someone?

4—Is a person expressing a normative or non-normative attitude toward desire/sexuality/gender?

5—Is there a challenge to norms of d/s/g, or is there an acceptance of non-binary and non-normative d/s/g?



Homework: Work on presentations. Monday’s roster:  Fatma, Yarlin, Rachel, Jamela, Salim, Isaac


Make sure to review the assignment instructions [Assignments] and pay attention to the large objectives:

•  Assemble photos or video, provide captions

• Decide on key gothic terms

• Decide on connected texts

• Write outline

• Practice your delivery



Best wishes,

Prof. Scanlan

Homework for Wednesday, Dec 2


Hi Class,

I hope that everybody gained an entry point for their Gothic Spaces Presentation today.

For Wednesday, we will cover the ending of HHH in more depth and continue to watch the film The Haunting directed by Robert Wise (1963).


For Wednesday: about 30 minutes of work in total

1—work for 15 minutes on your Gothic Spaces Presentation. First, for five minutes, review your notes and handouts for the terms and concepts that we have learned this semester such as CGI, SOP, Gothic Elements, Gothic Architecture, Todorov’s uncanny, etc. Then, freewrite for five minutes (no stopping!) about the space that you have selected to write about. Lastly, freewrite for five minutes about how one of our stories helps us to understand your gothic space. I realize this last step might require you to review a number of stories from this semester—this is time well spent!


2—Read over the Final Essay Instructions (Assignments menu tab) and select either A or B. Freewrite for 5 minutes on favorite characters, scenes, and concepts.


3—Read the first page of the Johns Hopkins Guide entry on Queer Theory.



Prof. Scanlan

Homework for Monday, Nov 30

Hi Class,






Homework for Monday, Nov 30:

1–Finish The Haunting of Hill House. Please take notes. Especially take notes on those pages that we read and discuss during class…those discussions are the sources for exam questions.

2–Complete Quiz 3–see the sidebar to the right. Please submit by class on Nov 30.



Prof. Scanlan


ps. Fatma has provided the class with some information that is relevant to our class… The City Tech Haunted Hotel!!

It completely slipped my mind last class to bring up the haunted hotel City Tech’s Entertainment Technology department works on every fall semester. I am apart of that program, and this year, instead, we did a virtual escape room. I believe tickets for the live shows this weekend are already sold out, but you are more than welcome to also play an asynchronous web version of it. CUNY faculty and students should be able to get tickets for free. Here is the link to the website. I will also try to find and attach the google form for CUNY students to get a ticket for free. All you have to do is fill it out.
Escape from the Gravesend Inn. An Escape Room Adventure! More Info
Please provide the information requested below to receive your free Student Ticket to Escape from the Gravesend Inn! Please give us 24-48 hours to process your request. If you do not receive a ticket in that time frame please email: escapefromthegravesendinn@gmail.com
Thank You!
Fatma Oukili
[and thank you Fatma!]

Student Examples and Homework for 11/23

Hi Students,

Great job with the first few pages of The Haunting of Hill House (HHH).

  • Schedule for Gothic Spaces Presentation:December 7– Fatma, Yarlin, Rachel, Jamela, Salim, IsaacDecember 9–Jessica, Manuel, Victoria, Shemar, Joel, Kwame

1–I’m so sorry that I forgot to do the Weekly Goth! I can’t believe it especially since it has been so fun and frightening. So, we will begin on Monday with the last two.

2–Haunting and Haunted House Ideas… we have not discussed these concepts as much as we should. I think the Wikipedia page for Haunted House is actually quite good, so we will use that as class information. Here’s the link:


For our purposes, the first six sections of this long article are useful.

3–Here are the chapters and page numbers for HHH:

  • C1   1-14
  • C2   14-25
  • C3   25-43
  • C4   43-64
  • C5   64-78
  • C6   78-85
  • C7   85-99
  • C8   99-110
  • C9   110-119


*Read the article on Queer Theory in Readings (Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory). Pay particular attention to the first paragraph.

*Then read up to page 64 in HHH (finish chapter 4), and answer these questions in your notebook:

1–Who are Mr. and Mrs. Dudley? Describe them.

2–What do Eleanor and Theodora do together after finding their adjoining rooms?

3–What is the history of Hill House (briefly)?

4–Does anything happen during their first night at Hill House?

5–What observation about the design of the house does Dr. Montague make after breakfast?

6–What happens on the second night?




Two Student Examples of Gothic Spaces Images and Captions:

Paul’s Gothic Space

Old Gravesend Cemetery (circa 1905) Credit to Joseph Ditta and gravesendgazette.com

Old Gravesend Cemetery

A Bit of History

Proximity to my Old House


More History


Kelvin’s Gothic Space


Homework for Wednesday, Nov 18

Hi Class,

Thanks for the gothic and architectural uncanny images and paragraphs! Make sure to post them if you haven’t already.

For Wednesday, let’s read up to the middle of page 11 (up to chapter 5) in The Haunting of Hill House.


Here is a link to that page displaying future skyscraper in NYC:

List: Skyscrapers Under Construction or Planned in New York


The Architectural Uncanny:

According to Anthony Vidler, the Architectural Uncanny is represented by a feeling of anxiety in which there is a slippage and lack of clarity between what is homely and what is unhomely. The architectural uncanny reflects modern qualities of individual and social estrangement, alienation, exile, danger, and homelessness. The very places in which we should be calm and confident (at home), we instead find ourselves unsure as to our identity, a feeling that Vidler believes emanates from fragmented, mirrored, reflecting, and transparent surfaces that we see and move through—and live within.  (Image from John Wick Chapter 3):




Prof. Scanlan

Homework for Monday, Nov 16

Hi Class,

Again, great job with the Weekly Goth! Looking forward to next week’s examples.

For Monday, I want students to take/find two photo examples–one of Gothic architecture and one of  Vidler’s Uncanny. Post the two photos and brief explanations of where and what the photo depicts. Point out a few characteristics that make the structure gothic or uncanny. The explanations can be short, less than 100 words. See my example in the Gothic Architecture category.

**Optional: I’ve posted a longish introduction to the history of the gothic by Nick Groom. These pages attempt to fuse the history of Germanic tribes to the reformation to British nationalism to art and culture. See Readings.


Prof. Scanlan

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