However, the majority (74%) of youth struggling with mental health In the short story, The Fall of the House of Usher, written by the poet Edgar Allen Poe during the romantic period, it sheds light into a time where there was much darkness, mental illness, and an overall negative phycological outlook and misunderstanding to certain societal and personal identifications. Literature is a valid resource to learn more about complex issues, including mental health and trauma. In this and forthcoming articles, we focus on three popular contemporary films that image mental illness and treatment using recognizably identifiable Gothic images, themes and tropes. Mental illness, or madness, is a common theme in Gothic literature, and 'Dracula' is no exception. Madness in Society : Chapters in the Historical Sociology of Mental Illness . What is NOT true about Robert Walton. ‘Vampirella’ Radio Plays as a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Metaphor. writer of new gothic fiction, essays on mental illness, and mini book reviews. Start studying Gothic Literature. Madness, Madness (insanity) is a central theme in Gothic literature, although certainly this is not a Gothic invention. psychiatry. Courtesy of Wendy Fall, Marquette University. Like any theoretical system that assumes a 'normal' figure exists, this concept of madness very easily shifted all mad-people into the 'other' category, which the Gothic so often exploits to create sinister, threatening scenes. 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This is also because such Gothic narratives can be read as cautionary tales — offering a social observation, reflection and warnings about what can happen when disorder, chaos and inhumanity are given free rein in the world. Clare Beams, The Illness Lesson (Doubleday) Southern Gothic Literary Tradition Jamie Friend South University Online Miss Emily Grierson fits the description of Southern Gothic tradition in “A Rose for Emily” due to the fact that she is portrayed as a character with symptoms of mental illness that cause her to do horrific things. Gothic Literature Dissertation Ideas: 24 Fresh Suggestions. Research Projects and Grants It was a common belief that anyone with a mental illness was tainted by the devil or possessed by a demon, so patients were treated as if they were. Abstract A Monster in the House: Gothic and Victorian Representations of Female Madness explores female madness and mental illness as perceived by Gothic and Victorian society over the span of three literary works: The Fall of the House of Usher (1839); Jane Eyre (1847), and The Yellow Wallpaper (1892). In Gothic literature, he found a place to explore psychological trauma, the evils of man, and mental illness. As a literary student, you should expect to write a dissertation on this genre of literature. While Jane Eyre maintains its roots in realistic fiction, Brontë draws heavily upon the Gothic tradition, particularly in the setting of Thornfield Hall and the character of Bertha Mason. To investigate mental health with the Gothic, we explore contexts in which mental health is represented in order to foreground the Gothic images and tropes they contain, proposing that this can help readers to be more aware of how a sense of fear and stigma can be developed and established in such representation. Hogg's narrative is startling for the Gothic reader because rather than becoming more and more clear, Justified Sinner becomes less; truth is so obscured that by the end neither the narrator nor the reader is able to discern fact from delusion. Characters grappling with mental illness or spiritual angst are often par for the course, as are manifestations of the supernatural — or what appears to be so. This is, at least in part, due to the vividness and compelling nature of Gothic narratives, which explore enduring cultural anxieties. Gothic fiction of the 19th century also harkens back to the rise of anxiety, a preoccupation with mental illness, and a desperate fear of ruin, all back in vogue in our current extraordinary times. Irrationality and madness in this period were thought to be caused by the rapid changes in the social environment; by physically removing humans from close proximity to nature and placing them in cities, sometimes a 'deranged sensibility' would be awakened in them. The International Gothic Association unites teachers, scholars, students, artists, writers and performers from around the world who are interested in any aspect of gothic culture: fiction, drama, poetry, art, film, music, architecture, popular culture and technology. Salinger (1951) Click Here To Buy. These four primitive categories of diagnosis reflect the mad-woman's distance from the 'normal' person. Alshatti noted, for example, that when, in 1765, Horatio Walpole subtitled his novel ‘The Castle of Otranto’ (1764) “a gothic story or romance,” the elements Walpole used in this text — the “gothic castle, Catholic feudal society, damsel in distress, tyrannical patriarchal figure, labyrinthine and subterranean passages, live burials, doubles or doppelgangers” — were identified by other writers as useful and “were appropriated and deployed in multifarious ways,” resulting in the Gothic becoming defined as a genre. What is a type of mental health condition commonly seen in Gothic literature? > Jane Eyre, an 1847 novel by Charlotte Brontë. Mental illness at that time was thought to be of the following types: Melancholia, or depression. Abstract The linking of mental illness and the Gothic is prevalent and persistent. These stories obviously, therefore, although fitting into different overall filmic genres (as above), can also, we propose, be described as Gothic in their approach to mental illness. Although it was written long before the term was coined, this seems to be a brilliant depiction of a dissociative state. Some patients put in an asylum for minor things like postpartum depression, anxiety, epilepsy, or even lust. Pre-American Gothic Criticism In Literature 753 Words | 4 Pages. There has always been a stigma attached to people with mental illnesses, even relatively minor ones such as clinical depression. The Victorians embraced the idea of the self in relationship to what is considered 'normal', then gradually changed their ideas about madness as a result of their expanding knowledge of science and evolution. Madness became less a moral or social failing than a biological regression, in which the person slipped back in evolution to a state just before the most recent advancement, which the Victorians held was the ability to reason effectively. In the Gothic, characters are subject to an onslaught of sensational and macabre events, and Gothic writers seem to delight in their descriptions of the mind's breaking point. The dictionary defines insanity as unsoundness or a derangement of the mind (Webster’s New Biographical Dictionary, 1983). little was known about mental illness. For example, a madwoman in the French prison Sapetriere in 1788 could be detained for four distinctly different categories of madness; she could be dissolute, 'not considered hopelessly depraved,' condemned by the order of the king (probably for political purposes) or held by order of the court (for social reasons). she was born in England. FAQ | from politics to mental illnesses. Gothic narratives also contain their fair share of lesser types of mental distress, such as depression and dissipation, although they are not termed as such. In spite of sustained campaigns from mental health advocates to promote a realistic portrayal of mental health care While obviously not representative of all imaging of mental health treatment in contemporary popular culture, these particular narratives have also been chosen for the ways they deal with narratives of decay and chaos on both the individual and social level. It wasn't until the 1870's that scientists began to consider the notion of a psyche that could develop somewhat independently of the biological condition, and the very roots of our modern study of psychology took hold. Gothic explorations of mental illness are consistent with the slippery nature of Gothic meaning, in that some affected characters are viewed with sympathy, while others, such as the mad scientists, are viewed as a special type of villain. The themes that occur in literature are almost always a direct result of the society David Punter and Glennis Byron, for instance, use madness as one of the key characteristics of the Southern Gothic subgenre, describing it as that literature which is characterized by an emphasis on the grotesque, the macabre and, very often, the violent, investigating madness, decay and despair, and the continuing pressures of the past upon the present. These works represent three different filmic genres: ‘Shutter Island’ (2010), ‘The Ward’ (2010) and ‘Girl, Interrupted’ (1999) (a psychological drama). Perhaps part of the attraction to works on the malfunctioning of the mind had to … The linking of mental illness and the Gothic is prevalent and persistent. The physical mechanism of the body was linked to the formation of the mind, especially in women, children, and the 'lower races'. In 1824, James Hogg addresses similar concerns in his Gothic crime story Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. The art of storytelling should never be taken for granted. to explore this topic further and with other pieces of literature. Lenz, 1836 novella fragment by Georg Büchner depicting the unfolding of mental disorder with the German poet Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz. Conventional wisdom claims that gothic writers popularized and influenced the study of psychology. These depictions are so powerful that the horrors of the insane asylum in Gothic fiction echo across the collective imagining and into contemporary renditions (as in the Royal Perth Show example with which we opened this discussion), and it is easy to summon up images of tortured, despairing and desperate inmates suffering the cruelties of staff who are supposed to be tending to, and caring for, them. The history of Gothic literature dates back to 18th century England. Poe’s choice of writing Any modern-day zombie story, detective story, or Stephen King novel owes a debt to Poe. At the beginning of the Gothic novel in the late 18th century, scholars were considering new ideas about human nature that considered a person in terms from his her her distance from the 'normal person', and used the term 'madness' flexibly to indicate a person's varying degrees of departure from the 'normal'. Throughout Gothic fiction you will find numerous examples of characters with mental disorders, many of them written at a time when little was known about such conditions. New York : Columbia University Press, 1979. Contemporary mental health settings, however, as they are represented both in this Gothic literature and in contemporary films, bear little physical resemblance to their fictional counterparts and this cognitive dissonance is, therefore, a good starting point in order to investigate whether there is there any connection in the settings represented in these works of Gothic fiction, with the settings that operate in real life. Thornfield, while not literally haunted, hides the dark secret of mental illness and hidden marriage, and includes mysterious, haunted-house like occurrences. This small selection — while certainly not representative of filmic representations of mental disorder and treatment — can, however, function indicatively in terms of the way the Gothic operates in such filmed narratives. A password reset link will be e-mailed to you. Hogg adds to the list, however, by also linking madness to the development of the mind and the influence of proper (or improper) upbringing. Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Perhaps this is why insanity crops up as one of the most common themes in Gothic literature. 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She earned her MFA in fiction from Oklahoma State University and now works as a content manager for a Boston marketing agency. Then America's Edgar Allen Poe got ahold of it in the mid-1800s and succeeded like no one else. Gothic Archive The hero of the Gothic tale is often so burdened with the distance of his heroine that he falls into dissipation or depression. Accessibility Statement, OAKCLIFFE HALL OR THE FATAL EFFECTS OF FEUDAL QUARRELS. The word “melancholy” was eventually replaced by “monomania,” for “melancholy” was thought to be more poetic than precise (ly … A Tale of the Fifteenth Century [Transcript], Sarah Scudgell Wilkinson, Home | People with mental illness … Melmoth also closely links madness and criminality, telling the sane man Stanton that "Experience must teach you that there can be no crime into which madmen would not, and do not, precipitate themselves; mischief is their occupation, malice their habit, murder their sport, and blasphemy their delight.". While researching mental illness in literature, one word continued to pop out – stigma. New York : Facts on File, 2005. Mental illness — usually expressed as “madness” or “insanity” is, as many commentators state, a common theme in Gothic literature. This focuses on the dark elements of the psychiatric experience including terrifying periods of isolation; threatening institutions set in eerie landscapes; a sense of foreboding, claustrophobia or ultimately, entrapment; besides horrifying treatments. Save my name, email, and website in this browser cookies for the next time I comment. These films are also riveting contemporary popular culture narratives that are worthy of scholarly consideration that adds to that already in place. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. What is NOT one of the modern sciences that was once called "natural philosophy?" The quintessential tale of disaffected … Over the course of the development of the Gothic, theories concerning the causes and nature of madness changed. Untimely deaths, doomed romance, and villainous acts of moral turpitude are common, as well. This involves the loss of personal autonomy and maintenance of well-being, a loss of trust in the caring function of medicine and nursing, and a loss of faith that modernity can ease personal burdens and solve problems — and each of these is highly instructive for our purpose. > Become a member and unlock all Study Answers. OAKCLIFFE HALL OR THE FATAL EFFECTS OF FEUDAL QUARRELS. 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