Dark Romanticism/Gothic Theme Analysis

1. Choose THREE literary texts assigned for class (see a list below).
2. Choose ONE gothic-specific theme that is shared amongst the selected literature. (Remember that a theme is the main point that the author is making about a particular topic; it’s a statement, not a one or two-word “topic,” and it’s not a question).
3. Choose TWO literary elements [protagonist(s) and/or antagonist(s); characterization; setting; plot (rising action, climax, falling action, and/or resolution); symbols; irony; point of view; conflict (internal or external)] from each piece of literature that helps develop the gothic-specific theme.

choose THREE of the following literary texts:

1. “Rip Van Winkle” by Irving (pp. 29-40)
2. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Irving (pp. 41-61)
3. “Young Goodman Brown” by Hawthorne (pp. 345-354)
4. “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Hawthorne (pp. 368-376)
5. “The Birthmark” by Hawthorne (pp. 377-388)
6. “Rappaccini’s Daughter” by Hawthorne (pp.405-424)
7. “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Poe (pp. 629-640)
8. “The Masque of the Red Death” by Poe (pp. 662-665)
9. “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Poe (pp. 666-669)
10. “The Black Cat” by Poe (pp. 670-675)
11. “The Cask of Amontillado” by Poe (pp. 696-700)

Second, consider the following questions to determine theme and to determine literary elements that help convey the theme:
1. What important gothic-specific theme does this literary work convey?
2. What do characters do that helps to illustrate this idea?
3. What do characters say that helps to illustrate this idea?
4. What events take place in the work that help to illustrate this idea?
5. Are there any recurrent images or clusters of images? Do these images support the idea or theme that you find in the work? (If so, they may be symbols.)
6. What does the narrator say that helps to illustrate this idea?
7. What examples of irony may be present?
8. What types of conflict can be found?



Sample Solution