Gothic Short Story

ENG102Essay #2—Gothic StoryFall 2020


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In 3 to 5 pages, typed and double-spaced (Times New Roman 12), use what you have learned about the 19th century American gothic or southern gothic genres to write a gothic short story that revolves around an oppressed character. Your story may lean toward the psychological gothic (madness/insanity) or the supernatural (ghosts, monsters, etc.). or a blend of both. Your story should have a gothic setting and should draw on some traditional gothic themes, such as suspicion of the past, religious or political corruption, misuse of technology/science, etc. (Be sure your story uses at least three (3) conventions of the gothic genre. Think about how your story might function subversively.)


Your story probably will not have a thesis statement, but nevertheless, the reader should be able to infer an overall message. Your story should have an attention-getting introduction. Be sure your main character is developed as a round character with some kind of conflict. (When developing other characters in the story, choose whether or not they are round, flat, or silenced characters. When developing them, think about what they represent and how they are contributing to the story. Are they necessary to the story or for developing the overall message of the story? Are they functioning subversively?) The main character’s conflict should contribute to the plot build-up that reaches a a climax (turning point) and forces the main character to make a decision. The conclusion should show the results of the decisions made at the point of the climax.


Remember, descriptive details and setting is very important to the gothic genre. If your audience was watching your story on a screen, what do you want them to see and hear? What do you want them to feel, smell, taste? Remember, while horror is a sub-genre of gothic, it is not the same as gothic. You may have elements of horror in your story, but it MUST follow the traditions and gothic conventions of the genre as discussed in this class. 

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Gothic Short Story





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