It is very clear to see from Edgar Allen Poe’s works of prose that the Gothic explores the dark and uncanny part of the human mind, and the fears Poe had are not very different from our own (“Gothic Creativity” 22). This uncanny side of the mind is strangely fascinated with monstrosity, decay, and violence. People’s fascination with things like violence comes from fear. The exploration of the Gothic reveals contemporary fears of serial killers, death, guns, apocalypse, and the war in Iraq and Syria. The fear of terrorism has resurfaced after the recent bombings in Paris. There are countless popular movies, books, television shows, and video games that explore all of these different fears and elements of the Gothic. For example, the TV show “Jericho” deals with war and apocalypse and the book series The Hunger Games focuses largely on death. In her article, “Poe and Gothic Creativity,” Maria Lima writes that Gothic works like Poe’s and contemporary horror stories produce an awareness of the presence of terror. These works show disturbing, yet fascinating, imagery but nothing as disturbing as contemporary reality (“Gothic Creativity” 28). Botting’s statement that “horror appears when fears come a little too close to home,” agrees (124). An exploration of the gothic elements found in Poe’s works reveal fears of past and present, as well as universal fears such as darkness and death. With this in mind, we will be able to understand why we are drawn to the Gothic even though it shows us our fears.
Anderson, Victoria, "Contemplating the Horrific: How Poe’s Gothic Reveals Our Fears" (2015). English Class Publications. 10.