The Bloody Chamber

Opposition and Contrasts in Gothic Fiction 12th Grade

Two concepts often appear to be in conflict or contrast at the heart of Gothic fiction; the dualities of good and bad are often critical to the formation of the literature. Within ‘Dr. Faustus’ the battle between good and bad is particularly poignant due to the inclusion of characters from morality plays and the angels who advise Faustus. Gothic writers also delve deeper into the intricacies of these conflicts in order to expose a specific message to the reader, or to enlighten the reader on an obscured truth. Shelley, for example, simply highlights the contrasts in human life and allows the reader to attempt to rationalise the contrasts. Shelley does this through lines such as “I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel,” which contrasts the role of Adam with the Devil in ‘Paradise Lost,’ who represent holiness and sin. Carter is also concerned with oppositions with her collection of short stories ‘The Bloody Chamber’, however, Carter often warps the oppositions; particularly between strength and weakness. Regardless of the writer, Gothic fiction always contains an opposition or contrast that is conceptual, rather than physical, and which is used a technique by the...

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