Panic, paranoia and pathos
Ecocriticism in the eighteenth century Gothic novel
in Ecogothic
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The liminal quality of the forest plays an important role as the Gothic genre gains in popularity throughout the latter half of the eighteenth century. Horace Walpole's use of the forest sets up the paradigm of Gothic ecology that would be popular in the Gothic novels that came in the 1790s. Marquis De Sade seems to understand the true terror of the wilderness as it is presented in the Gothic novel in which isolation leaves humanity to its own devices. Matthew Lewis's version of the Gothic environment is triumphant as well, appearing in future Gothic novels of the 1790s and following decades. The Gothic ecology, then, seems to be one that suggests it is best for humanity and nature to live harmoniously with one another, though it may be the human counterpart that suffers most if that relationship is severed.

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