“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”
Edgar Allen Poe
The 18th and 19th century saw a change in the way people viewed the world around them. Science emerged as an alternative explanation for the ‘ways of the world’ and the likes of John Locke began to consider the philosophy behind what makes humans what they are. As a result, the genre of gothic fiction was born. Writers of the genre used the dark, the supernatural and the frightening to question the social world. The morality of humankind became an endless source of fascination for the authors of gothic fiction and their commentary of the social world still helps us to raise questions today.
In this course, you can expect to encounter texts that will encourage you to consider the implications of humankind’s never-ending desire to understand the world around them and build on the skills that you have developed in English over the previous years of study. You will explore the literary giant that is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, read the misleading work of Edgar Allen Poe and delve into the world of the gothic. You will produce your own pieces and develop your written academic voice as well as your creative skills through a variety of writing tasks on offer this year. Debate and discussion of moral, ethical and social issues will be central to this course and your development as a speaker and presenter will be cultivated as the course progresses. You will craft a speech on the ‘perspectives’ of an issue facing our society and deliver this to your peers. Throughout the year, you can opt to complete a reading project designed to increase your personal reading and thoughtful response to texts.