Gothic Fiction in American Children’s Literature

Abstract:   This article brings forth a most sensitive issue that has preoccupied Gothic literature from its very beginnings: the child, a fragile creature in the claws of evil, depersonalized and deprived of his most common human senses. The paper has both scientific and moral goals. It aims at concreteness, involving socio-psychological and analytical methods. Owing to the widely written works on this topic, the constant reader has got the chance to compare Stephen King’s stories not only between them but also with other literary works from earlier periods of American and English literature. The writers’ interest in observing the children’s reactions against obscure forces of the universe turned into interesting educational stories intensely savored around the world. The heroes’ attitudes spring from a tormented, often traumatized nature that most of the time bursts into anti-social behavior and reprehensible deeds. The children possess telekinetic abilities and other supernatural powers beyond the elders’ understanding and explanation. Multiple literary creations, such as the bildungsroman, satires, or lurid melodramas offer complete introspections of the little villains’ souls. Thrilling, versatile, and seductive, the Gothic child has changed all social, political, and religious environments.

       Keywords: Gothic, Children, Evil, Psychological, Thriller

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