Should the Twilight saga be considered Gothic?

United States
November 6, 2009 5:26pm CST
We are having a debate in my gothic lit class and I thought I would get other people's opinions on the subject. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Castle of Otranto are all considered gothic novels because of their motifs such as darkness, castles, and death. Do you think that Twilight would fall under the Gothic lit genre? I believe that the last three books do, but the first book is not quite dark enough to be considered Gothic. What do you think?
12 responses
9 Nov 09
As an English Language teacher with a Degree in European Literature, I should like to help out. A Gothic novel need not have Vampires, as many of your respondents seem to think, nor need they be that dark. A Gothic novel centres upon 'the human condition', and particularly, is an examination of the propaganda and dogma of the establishment, by examining relationships between those from within 'society' and those from outside it. Vampires do not exist, they are a metaphor for members of East European Christianity who are not Roman Catholics (the Magyars, Bulgars, Orthodoxies etc), which is why they are often associated with Romany Gypsies - also persecuted by the RC church. Lycanthropes are likewise the unkempt, bearded and fierce uncivilised East Europeans (in the eyes of the RC church). Medicine was strictly controlled by the RC church, who would not allow Post Mortems. This led to the rise of grave robbers and murderers, who would sell bodies to scientists illegally. This 'power of God' and medical religious censorship is the subject of 'Frankenstein, the modern day Prometheus'. The persecution and driving out of non-RC christians is the domain of 'Dracula', an East European who acknowledges the cross and drinks blood (known to RC church goers as 'the Sacrement', where every Sunday RC goers eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ). The religious corruption affecting the legislature of France (a staunchily Catholic country, where Protestants were prosecuted as Huguenots, and where the south had benefitted from Templar protection) is discussed in 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'. As a rule of thumb, the Gothic novel will have been written by a Protestant/Lutheran and will examine the knowledge of the Occult (meaning 'hidden' as in 'hidden by the RC church') and how it applies to human nature and feelings.
1 person likes this
@jammyt (2824)
• Philippines
1 Mar 10
With its setting and description, it may be hard to categorize it as Gothic. The way the book was written is already modern and yes, it is not as dark as gothic lit should be.
@alilin28 (1532)
• Uruguay
28 Feb 10
mm, im not sure that enter in the same bag like dracula, true blood and more like this.. this story is nothing seen before.. altrhought they have vampires and theyy need blood to live, his behaviour is noot like a demon or some like these, or looks like the other stories.. i consider that twilight is a love sotry, with a dark side, but not like the others..
• United States
15 Nov 09
Thats a valid point. It could very well be considered Gothic. I have never really thought of it this way, though I guess i should have with as many people against the movies and such
• Thailand
11 Nov 09
I don't think that twilight will be a considered a gothic. Because, I don't think the series will last as long as 50 yrs, as I'm sure there will be better novels in the future then people will tend to forget twilight. I've read all of the series though and to be honest I've really enjoyed them, but to consider them gothic will take quite a long time.
@danitykane (3193)
• Philippines
7 Nov 09
Hi there! I think it is a modern way of interpreting vampire movie for the new generation. It is not a "Gothic" kind of film because it is not that dark and the vampire characters in the story is not the typical vampire that we know over the past years. I mean I find it like a romeo-juliet kind of romance but with a twist. Happy Lotting!
@oXAquaXo (607)
• United States
7 Nov 09
I'm actually not very sure. The Twilight Saga is a dark romance kind of book, so I guess it could fall in that category. But it isn't as dark as all those other books, as it is more romance than dark. The characters are quite witty and the books can be humorous at times, so actually, I would think of it more as a romance book than a gothic book. It depends on how you look at it.
@The1one1 (105)
• Croatia (Hrvatska)
7 Nov 09
Nah, it isn't gothic, it is just simply rubbish xD
• United States
7 Nov 09
I would consider the twilight saga a soap opera, flat out. It's now part of the vampire genre and will always be mentioned when this era gets brought up. Nothing wrong with that. Someone saw a way to make money and went with it. They can say all they want about how they were trying to express themselves, but really, them checks that they collect off of the franchize won't hurt them at all. My own opinion.
@weasel81 (2502)
• Australia
7 Nov 09
i've not read the books yet, but it should be in the paranormal romance. being vampires and romance, those kinds of book also make for good reading.
@jlamela (4909)
• Philippines
7 Nov 09
I don't think Twilight could be consider a "gothic" novel. The theme is romance and the vampire thing is only a back draft, Twilight is far from the traditional horror/vampire/Dracula movies, there's no so much darkness or Castles involved and the vampires like the Cullens are not even disastrous and never suck human blood so the Twilight saga is far from your above-mentioned novels.
6 Nov 09
My class, too, talked about gothic novels this semester, particularly their characteristics. I don't think I would classify the first of the Twilight series as gothic.It seems a lot more like romance or fantasy to me, which of course they all are anyway. But Twilight does not have inexplicable events or even any true horror elements. The only thing supernatural is that the Cullens are vampires. Remove that and the story is almost essentially the same in the first book. And, even including that fact, Bella comes to it by a logical conclusion and their vampirism is even explained scientifically (a result of venom et cetera).