Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

Blog 5

A common theme I’ve noticed amongst the stories that we have read is there is always a mystery presented at the beginning of the readings whether it’s a place, a person, or a thing. Its almost like a clue to what will later unravel closer to the end. With The Castle of Ontaro it was the helmet, with Carmilla it was the nearby abandoned village, and with The Vampyre it was the mysterious man who every woman seemed to be drawn to. There is also a lot of particular types of architecture that are described throughout. The stories also wouldn’t be complete without a “damsel in distress” and the older men who take care of them. Alot of the men in these stories seem to have the final decision on what these young women do with their lives mostly in terms of marriage. The emotion in these readings are also quite exaggerative. The Prince in The Castle of Ontario seemed to have the same level of emotion no matter what the situation was. I expected for him to at some point die of a heart attack from stressing himself out. Everything that happens is always met with such ferocity which makes every problem in these stories a lot bigger than they need to be. The theme of isolation is also common. Sometimes it’s the physical location of a home and other times a physical being isolated from society. Death is also a huge theme as there is always someone dying, who needs to die, or has already been put to rest .  

1 Comment

  1. Laura Westengard

    You make such a good point about exaggerated emotion as a common theme! Since Gothic literature is a type of sentimental fiction, there is an emphasis on heightened emotion. I’m also surprised that the characters don’t have heart attacks! 🙂

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