Novels saw their rise as late as the eighteenth century. The drama was on the rise in earlier times due to its widespread popularity in the Elizabethan era. Later, when more literary forms were given impetus, novels saw their development. The four pillars of Novels are Tobias Smollett, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, and Lawrence Sterne. Facilitated the development of the picaresque form of a novel. Later on, adventure novels were written, like Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
After that, novels did not look back and kept on rising. They rose to further prominence in the Victorian era. And thereafter the novelists chose their subject matters to bring out the realities of society to the people.
Jane Austen earlier wrote under a pen name.
Jane Austen earlier wrote under a pen name. She tried to acquaint the readers with the social condition of her era, where women were just considered wives and nothing else.
The sole purpose of all the mothers was to get their daughters married to secure men so that they earned a respectable position in society. Nothing called ambition existed for women in the era. That is what Austen has served to tell its readers through her various novels, predominantly Pride and Prejudice. Charles Dickens used his novels to highlight his society’s political, social, and cultural aspects to the people.
His Great Expectations is a prominent example of what we say is a subtle satire of the social condition. Then comes his Oliver Twist and Tale of Two Cities, which brings the concepts of Victorian morality and the Victorian Compromise in the most vivid sense. Similarly, many other novelists served the purpose of informing their audience about the prevalent conditions in society so that they are well acquainted with what is happening around them.
The Bronte sisters came up with their own concepts of Gothic novels. And offered the readers something new to read along with acquainting them with the social condition.
The modernist novelist changed their style of writing. For them, individuality became more important, and thus, they focused on one’s self. They employ a new stream-of-consciousness technique in their works wherein the thought process. A character’s interior monologue was used to move the plot and acquaint the readers with other characters. And that is how the novel keeps on developing till today. Among all these novels, the most fascinating ones were the Gothic novels.
Gothic novels trace their origin and development to a very different source. Thus, it becomes important to understand them so that students can work on their literature assignments, research paper writings, and case studies without needing any assignment help.
Gothic was originally used to refer to the Goths, an early Germanic tribe. Later on, the term went on to signify Germanic and then medieval. Today, Gothic architecture denotes medieval architecture, characterized by the high-pointed arch and vault. Intricate recesses and flying buttresses were prominent in Western Europe between the 12th and 16th centuries.
The Gothic novel, or specifically the Gothic romance, is a fiction written in prose. This origin can be credited to Horace Walpole’s ‘The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story. The subtitle denotes the novel’s setting in the Middle Ages and flourished through the 19th century.
A few writers in this genre follow the example of Walpole by setting their stories in the medieval period. The others set them in a Catholic country, either Spain or Italy. The locale chosen was often a gloomy castle that was furnished with underground passages, dungeons, and sliding panels. The most typical story in this category was of a beautiful heroine facing suffering imposed upon her by a cruel and lustful villain.
These stories also used abundant ghosts, mysterious disappearances, and other supernatural and sensational occurrences. In a few novels, such supernatural occurrences ultimately had a natural explanation.
The writer uses such a setting to evoke chilling terror among his readers by exploiting a variety of horrors and mysteries. Today, many of these novels are read mainly as period pieces. Still, the best of them opened up to fiction, trying to evoke the creative sense of the reader and the writer and rendering a mystery upon the former. Prominent examples in this category are William Beckford’s Vathek, Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, and the like. Jane Austen tried her hand in the field, although she made good-humored fun of the more proper instances of the Gothic Novel in her Northanger Abbey.
The term has also been used to refer to some things. That differed from the earlier romances regarding the exotic setting they employ.
Rather, these novels used brooding atmospheres of terror and gloom. And represent certain macabre and uncanny events, often with aberrant psychological states. Mary Shelley’s remarkable work Frankenstein found a place in this category. Later, the Bronte sisters used the term more refinedly and employed it in their works- Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Charles Dickens, too, tried his hand in this category with the episode of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Several critics have also drawn their attention to the many women writers in this category and have explained the mode as the result of the suppression of women or as a challenge to male dominance and the gender hierarchy. The spread of these novels soon covered the entire world. And America, too, saw its development at the hands of writers like Edgar Allan Poe.
Therefore, within no time, gothic novels became a category of fiction that attracted audiences of all types. And the elements of mystery offered them something new to read about. These were a few points on the Gothic novels that could assist students in research paper writing or assignment help on the subject.