The uncanny aspects of American gothic fiction

Jul 7th, 2015
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If I were to define the term “American gothic fiction”, my short answer would probably be that it is a branch-off from the British gothic fiction, like the British gothic fiction very dark, and very extreme in its way of depicting conflict; it is usual for conflicts to contain extreme polarities, for example light and darkness, black and white ascriptions of evil and virtue, which in an American context became more adapted to the ethical questions of the American society, for example racial assumptions and identifications.

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Stockholms estetiska gymnasiumAmerican Gothic FictionThe uncanny aspectsJacob Hartman2010-11-30The uncanny aspects of American gothic fictionIf I were to define the term American gothic fiction, my short answer would probably be that it is a branch-off from the British gothic fiction, like the British gothic fiction very dark, and very extreme in its way of depicting conflict; it is usual for conflicts to contain extreme polarities, for example light and darkness, black and white ascriptions of evil and virtue, which in an American context became more adapted to the ethical questions of the American society, for example racial assumptions and identifications.1But is it really that easy? What is it really in the American gothic fiction that made such a mark in modern history? The two literary works I primarily will be using in my attempt to answer this question is the two novels The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, and The yellow wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman. We will begin by looking at the novels separately.The yellow wallpaper (Charlotte P. Gillman), is a short story about a woman who due to mental illness is forced to move away from the city and her life to a big roomy house, all because of ordinations from her husband who happens to be a doctor. Her husband is convinced that her condition is something physical that can be cured with some fresh air and rest, while the woman herself is convinced that there is somet

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