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There are 13 elements of European Gothic. Elements of European Gothic are important in a gothic novel because authors can explore supernatural thoughts and ideas through narration. Two famous stories of the gothic genre are “The Fall of The House of Usher ” by Edgar Allan Poe and “The Castle of Otranto” by Horace Walpole.

One of the elements of European Gothic that contributes to both these stories is supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events. “The great door to which he was pointing now slowly opened. It was the work of the rushing wind, perhaps — but no — outside that door a shape did stand, the tall figure, in its grave clothes, of the lady Madeline of Usher. There was blood upon her white dress, and the signs of her terrible efforts to escape were upon every part of her thin form” (33). In this passage, Poe revealed that Roderick’s twin sister was buried alive. She had blood on her as if she struggled to escape the tomb. Poe also revealed Roderick dies of fear from seeing his sister. In “The Fall of The House of Usher” Poe portrays the supernatural as wicked and relates it to hysteria. In unusual occasions, for example, Madeline’s restoration, the conceivable consciousness of the house simply makes its inhabitants crazy with dread, indicating how the otherworldly rots what it contacts.

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“Manfred, distracted between the flight of Isabella, who had now reached the stairs, and yet unable to keep his eyes from the picture, which began to move, had, however, advanced some steps after her, still looking backward on the portrait” (ch. 2). In this quote, we have Manfred watching his grandfather’s portrait sighing and moving uncontrollably. In “The Castle of Otranto” the castle is dark and scary, tormented supernaturally by trap entryways banging shut, the moaning of the breeze, and the life-like nature of people in photo paintings.

“The Fall of The House of Usher” and the “Castle of Otranto” have a lot of similarities but one. In ‘The Fall of the House of Usher ” is told in an anonymous first-person. The “Castle of Otranto ” is written with omniscient individual meaning in which the narrator knows what the characters are feeling and thinking in the story. As a reader, I prefer reading a story in first-person since it has more intimacy. Reading in third -person tells us what to think and feel about the character and story.

“The Fall of The House of Usher” is a more compelling story for me because there is no lesson attached, the story must be appreciated for the well-being of its own without an ethical point. At the end of the story, Poe leaves us with just the narrator alive to describe the death of the Usher twins. Unlike the “Castle of Otranto” where Manfred has lost both his children due to his hunt for power. Walpole believed that literature was meant to be a lesson. 

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