A2 English
Welcome back and what
lies ahead.
Unit 3 LITB3 - Texts and Genres
• The aim of this unit is to develop ideas on
the significance of genre which have been
established during the AS course. Texts will
be grouped within two broad categories:
Elements of the Gothic and Elements of the
Pastoral. Individual texts will be explored and
evaluated against some of the commonly
accepted principles of the chosen genre, and
three texts will be compared as
representatives of that genre.
• Unit 3: The Gothic Exam. Taken in January . 60% of A2 marks. 2 hours,
closed book (you cannot take books into the exam).
Three texts: ‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter, ‘Wuthering Heights’
by Emily Bronte and ‘Macbeth’ by Shakespeare.
Two sections: Section A and Section B. Candidates will be required to
answer one question from Section A and one question from Section B.
Each section will be marked out of 40, giving an overall maximum mark for
the paper of 80 marks.
 Section A will have one question on each of the set texts. Candidates will
answer one question on one text.
 Section B will have three questions. Each question will require candidates
to compare aspects of the Gothic across the three texts that they have
studied. Candidates will answer one question.
The Bloody Chamber will be started this term by Miss
Dunkey, along with back ground on the Gothic genre. Mrs
Lock will work on the shorter coursework piece, based
around the Critical Anthology. The other two texts will be
studied between September and January, in preparation
the Unit 3,Gothic exam in January.
Unit 4 LITB4 - Further and Independent Reading
There are a number of aims to this unit. The first
is to introduce candidates to the study of a wide
range of texts, some of which may be of their own
choosing. The second is to introduce candidates to
different ways of reading texts for study, including
independently. The third is to introduce candidates
to some critical ideas, and for these ideas to be
applied with discrimination to literary texts.
• Unit 4: Further and Independent Reading. Two pieces of
coursework (20% each) 40% Deadlines. October and April.
 1. Based around the Critical Anthology. 1200-1500 words. Does not
have to be substantial text, i.e. a whole novel or play, it can be two
poems , a short story, close focus on a chapter or section of a novel
e.g. The opening. Studied and practised this term with LK. Title
and text decided by end of this term. Worked on during Autumn
Term. Deadline Monday 8th October. Teacher: Mrs Lock
 2. The Comparative piece. 1500 -2000 words Must be two
substantial texts. Any genre and time period .Can even be the same
author. Studied from now and produced in the January term after
Gothic exam. Deadline April 2013. Teacher: Miss Dunkey
The Comparative Essay
You choose two texts
(usually novels, but can be poetry or plays)
You write an essay comparing an aspect of them
Though you won’t be writing this until January, you need to
be thinking about what texts you will compare and what
your question might be.
You write your own question (double checked by me)
The Comparative Essay
Example Questions
Focusing on Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day and Pinter’s The
Servant compare some of the ways authors use servants in their
2. Focusing on Brideshead Revisited and Rebecca compare some of the
ways in which authors create symbolic meanings out of houses.
3. How far do you agree with the view that the presentation of
masculinity is central to Things Fall Apart and Translations?
4. To what extent can The Secret Agent and Waterland be categorised
as detective novels?
It is an expectation that the three Gothic texts
will be read independently during the summer
holidays along with personal wider reading in
preparation for Unit 4.
The Bloody Chamber should be read over half term
• Check out our class website!
[email protected]
What does GOTHIC mean to you
‘The Gothic’ as a genre combines both horror and romance.
‘The Gothic’ as a genre does not belong to any specific
Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764) is often regarded
as the first true Gothic novel and examples have followed over
time to the present day.
• Gothic fiction is characterized by the
elements of fear, the supernatural and
darkness, as well as by characters such as
vampires, demons, heroes and villains. It
is the forerunner of the modern horror
• Originating in the late 18th century,
Gothic fiction was a branch of the larger
Romantic movement that sought to
stimulate strong emotions in the reader
— fear and apprehension, in this case.
• The name of the Gothic genre comes
from medieval architecture, because it
often harks back to the medieval era in
spirit and subject matter, and it
sometimes uses Gothic buildings as a
Common Subject Matter
This style of fiction places heavy emphasis on atmosphere,
using setting and diction to build suspense and a sense of
unease in the reader. Common subject matter includes the
supernatural, family curses, mystery and madness.
Gothic fiction might also feature a romantic plot or
subplot, particularly in later incarnations from the Victorian
era and the 20th century.
Times and Places
• Gothic fiction often deals with past eras, sometimes romanticizing
them and other times using them as symbols of excessive darkness
and oppression. In its early days, the Gothic genre took the
medieval period as a major inspiration. Early Gothic novels were
characterized as romances. These novels were often anti-Catholic
and used a medieval setting to showcase what their authors
believed to be abuses of Catholic power.
• Modern Gothic fiction has continued this tendency to look to past
eras, using such settings as colonial America or Victorian England.
Like the medieval period to many writers of the 18th and 19th
centuries, these eras offer fodder for romanticisation and moral
criticism. Modern Gothic works set in the present day might take
place in a 19th century mansion, much as early Gothic works
commonly used medieval castles as their setting.
The Gothic
The concept of ‘the Gothic’ has woven itself into our culture,
past and present, in many ways and at many levels, and ours is
an age in which gothic culture occupies a significant place.
Some elements include:
• A fondness for the symbols of darkness and light – literally and
• A significant use of the setting
• The creation of fear as a narrative priority
• A fascination with the influence of the past
• A difference between male and female roles which themselves
often follow particular conventions
• A blurring of reality and fantasy, being awake and dreaming
within the tales
• A tendency for certain psychological traits to occur within the
main character
Famous Gothic novels – read some!
Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto (1764)
William Beckford: Vathek (1786)
Nathaniel Hawthorne: The House of the Seven Gables (1851)
Charles Brockden Brown: Wieland (1798)
Jane Eyre byCharlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Interview With the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles, #1) by Anne Rice
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux
The Woman in White byWilkie Collins
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
The Raven and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
How does your novel fit Gothic Conventions?
Can ‘Twilight’ be
defined as an example
of Gothic Literature?