preview

Terror And Horror

Decent Essays

The first gothic novels were called ‘gothic’ because of their medieval aesthetic, but further gothic fiction was recognizable for the use of other conventions: persecuted heroines, empowered villains, young heroes, ruined castles, labyrinths, convents… but mainly, because the aim of such stories was to shock and terror the readers. That aim is still present today in everything that falls under the label of ‘gothic’: the gothic has to shock and distress and its way to achieve that is by including the element of fear in its narratives. But, how is fear produced? A first step towards the recreation of that element is by using certain images that produce strong emotions and trouble the mind. Such are the images that became popular in the first …show more content…

If the cause of fear is explicit and evident then it is horror, but if we do not know what is that which produces fear (a strange sound, an unfamiliar shadow, a laugh out of place) then it is terror, for then, the mind starts wondering and apprehension invades us, interrupting our calmness and placing the source fear from the insignificant to the worst: “and where lies the great difference between horror and terror, but in uncertainty and obscurity, that accompany the first, respecting the dreaded evil?” she continuous. In A Sicilian Romance terror takes place from chapter 1 when Julia, Emily and Madame the Menon, returning to the castle, observe a light from a chamber that for many years has been shut up. A light per se, is not source of fear, but the fact that it appears in a place that has not source of it and that is empty is what cause distress in the ladies. However, what really impresses the reader is Radcliffe use of prose and the images she creates to make of a strange event, something even greater, something

Get Access
Get Access