Gothic Elements in Anne Radcliffes The italian Essay
Anne Radcliffe's novel "The Italian" incorporates many aspects of the Gothic that can be found weaved throughout the text.Radcliffe's novel is a combination of an exploration into a striking culture, with looming family secrets, subtle hints of supernatural forces at work and Gothic architecture everywhere.Yet perhaps the most effective use of the Gothic used in Radcliffe's novel is her ability to keep her reader in constant suspense.Through the use of foreshadowing, Radcliffe creates a unique chain of events intended to lure the reader deeper into the realm of darkness and the Gothic atmosphere that surrounds characters in "The Italian".
Numerous Events foreshadowing the scenes taking place occur at the beginning of each chapter.The quotes Radcliffe uses to introduce each chapter of the novel allow the reader an idea of the events to follow throughout the chapter.Thefirst chapter of the novel inspires this design with the quote "What is this secret sin; this untold tale.That art cannot extract, nor penance cleanse?-mysterious Mother" (Radcliffe, 5).This quote itself foretells that Radcliffe's novel holds a secret, perhaps one pertaining to a family name, which has been revealed in confession.This theory is supported in the next pages of the text as the reader finds out that what he is reading is a written account of a confession made at the convent of the Black Penitents.The secret itself is so immense that the guilt cannot even be cleansed by the penance.
In Radcliffe's novel many, places and characters are veiled throughout the novel.Thefirst description the reader has of this is of a veiled woman:
"It was in the church of San Lorenzo at Naples, in the year 1758, that Vincentio di Vivaldifirst saw Ellena di Rosalba.The sweetness and fine expression of her voice attracted his attention to her figure, which had a distinguished air of deli…