Essay on Oscar Wilde's Success at a Gothic Novel

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In this essay I will be looking at how successful Oscar Wilde was at creating a gothic novel. I will be using Edgar Alan Poe’s short story
The Fall of the House of Usher and the film Bram Stokers, Dracula and the

The Picture of Dorian Gray.

In this essay I will be looking at how successful Oscar Wilde was at creating a gothic novel. I will be using Edgar Alan Poe’s short story
‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ and the film ‘Bram Stokers, Dracula’ and the earlier version ‘Nosferatu’ as reference pieces to the gothic form. Other pieces I shall be looking at are Goya’s ‘The Sleep of
Reason Produces Monsters’, and Henry Fuseli’s ‘The Nightmare’.

What is gothic? The dictionary defines gothic as ‘the style of
architecture
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I shall now be looking at the novel its self and certain gothic passages in the novel with reference to Edgar
Alan Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’. The story is about a young man in his early twenties and how he sells his soul to the devil for eternal youth and beauty. When he does this the newly painted self portrait of himself ages instead of him, this then allows him to explore his greatest fancies and not worry about his soul and the repercussions it shall have upon his friends nor his soul. This already shows signs of the gothic genre, as he is able to become completely free. In the end it destroys him and he dies. In Chapter 16
Oscar Wilde writes about how Dorian Gray visits opium dens. The opium dens almost take Dorian Gray out of reality and into the dream world.
On page 177 Oscar Wilde writes an amazing line that is very gothic ‘…the streets like the black web of some sprawling spider. The monotony became unbearable, and as the mist thickened, he felt afraid.’ This is just like how ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ describes the house that the Usher family live in you can find this in the first two paragraphs of the story. When we first meet Dorian Gray he is a young naive boy untouched by the world but the day he meets Lord Henry, the extremely illogical, destructive and selfish friend of Basil Hallward,
Lord Henry says something that changes Dorian Gray’s life forever.
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