Reading the Gothic in the 21st Century

Reading the GothicDarkness, mystery, eeriness, the supernatural, setting, isolation, and morality – a combination of these components forms the skeleton of the Gothic genre. Whilst its origins are often attributed to Horace Walpole’sThe Castle of Otranto, the genre evolved into famous classic novels such as Dracula and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde subsequently leading to modern works like The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories and The Wasp Factory. With the advancement of technology in the 20thand 21stcenturies, the platform of cinema has embraced the Gothic by spinning existing tales into visual masterpieces and creating original stories inspired by the genre, increasing its accessibility. From reading classic and modern pieces to viewing cinema in the 21stcentury, the Gothic still retains its charm in serving as an escapism into a fantastical world, spooking and prompting questions of morality along the way.

The Allure

Suspense

And she is all the time trying to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern—it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads

– The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Seeing the Good in the Wicked Witch of the West

WickedI’ve just finished Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. I decided to read it immediately after seeing the musical which was surprisingly good, even though I had to see it in Dutch.

It’s a revisionist look at the characters and the land of Oz from L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels. In the book I get to know the Wicked Witch of the West as the passionate and scarred Elphaba fighting against the Wizard who is portrayed as a ruthless dictator of Oz. Read More