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Theme Of Insanity In Gothic Literature

Decent Essays
Insanity Gothic literature can be composed of several themes depending on the purpose the writers intend to convey. William Faulkner, Edgar Allen Poe, and Richard Matheson are virtuosos within the realm of gothic literature. They have perfected the ability to blend fiction and horror through the use of certain gothic elements. Through their many works, such as “A Rose for Emily,” “Prey,” and “The Black Cat,” the authors implement numerous themes regarding violence and entrapment- existing in both the metaphorical and literal state. The authors successfully apply these elements in order to illustrate their belief that loneliness and grief can motivate inhumane actions, further progressing the state of insanity. Among the multitude of…show more content…
Her father (whom is recently deceased) and her boyfriend (Homer) have aided in her social deprivation. As a result, she is empty and lost, which provokes her to buy “the rat poison, the arsenic” (Faulkner 1071). While the town may not interact with Emily, they are still bewildered by her earlier purchase. The townspeople let their curiosity consume them and following the passing of Emily, they enter her abandoned house. Upon uncovering that “what was left of [Homer], rotted” (Faulkner 1074) in her bed, they acknowledge Emily had poisoned Homer in an effort to relieve her loneliness; which, in return, cost Homer his life. Even though violence may not be the only element present in these short stories, it does reflect the length at which people are willing to go in order to acquire what they desire. Similarly to violence, entrapment is another overarching theme prevalent within these literary works. Throughout “The Black Cat,” the evil eclipses the good. The narrator becomes consumed with dread upon the murdering of his former best friend: Pluto. He begins to feel as though he is in a “felon’s cell” (Poe 3) and there is no way out. Even though the narrator is not physically trapped, he believes his own house is equivalent to a prison. His internal turmoil clouds his rational thinking and he is unable to escape his true desires. While every sane person would feel remorse for the irrevocable murder of
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