Manderly as an Appropriate Setting for a Gothic Novel

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Manderly as an Appropriate Setting for a Gothic Novel A Gothic novel is characterized by picturesque settings, an atmosphere of mystery and terror, and element of violence and the supernatural.

In Chapter 7, Manderly is being described and introduced.

On page 73, "A thing of grace and beauty, exquisite and faultless, lovelier even than I had ever dreamed, built in its hollow of smooth grassland and mossy lawns", Manderly is said to be very beautiful, like a postcard image on the surface. There are symmetrical walls and terraces overlooking lawns that slope to the sea. Also, there are swallows, bluebells,
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On page 3, "a lilac had mated with a copper beech…malevolent ivy, always an enemy to grace, had thrown her tendrils about the pair and made them prisoners"

shows the presence of violence. These plants add to the atmosphere of gloominess and death, which made an appropriate setting for a Gothic novel.

Moreover, Manderly appears differently after the cloud covers the moon.

(p.4) "The house was a sepulcher, our fear and suffering lay buried in the ruins."

The house would then become an isolated tomb that will never be inhabited by anyone again. This hinted a much more significant meaning under its surface beauty, which contributes to the setting of a Gothic novel.

In addition, the library in Manderly is like a church-(p.76) "a room for peace, a room for meditation", with an ancient mossy smell, scrolled ceiling, dark panelling and heavy curtains, also giving a sense of sacredness. (p.100) "I must have lost my bearings" What's more, Manderly is similar to a castle or a maze, with many rooms and corridors, that the heroine couldn't make her way on the first day of her arrival to Manderly. There are different verbs describing the movement to places, for example, "went up", "went along", "turned left", etc.. This gave a sense of mystery.

By this, the above images made Manderly an appropriate setting for a Gothic novel in spite of its surface beauty.