Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Selma Ruins Gothic Novels

The other day I was talking to a friend about gothic novels, and realized that she had no idea what I was blathering about! (This happens frequently.) So I broke it down for her, and now I share my questionable knowledge with you lovely people of the internets.

Gothic v. romance: While a romance is always central to the plot of a gothic novel, the romance itself isn't so much of a focus as it is a way to get the plot moving. The real love story of a gothic is generally between the protagonist and whatever eerie manor she's moved to this time. The mystery and the romance are pretty much equal parts of the story.

And here I have dissected the plot of your average gothic novel using SCIENCE.

Heroine: Alas, I have no money and no family, so I must sell my wares... as a governess. Don't worry, I'm not actually common or anything, that would just be gross. My family's misfortune is recent and not my fault.

Hero: My last wife died under mysterious circumstances. I have an adorable young child that may or may not be possessed by the devil. I myself may or may not be the devil! But I am extremely handsome.

Heroine: Oh lovely manor, look at that ivy trailing up your walls. So many hallways! Such an aura of death! I am drawn to you... I cannot resist, you little minx!

Hero: Uh, so... want the job?

Heroine: What was that? Didn't hear a word you just said, but your house sure is pretty, so sign me up!


Heroine: Oh manor, your richly furnished but dusty rooms are so intriguing!

Manor: ...

Hunchbacked Maid: Beware, beware! Dark deeds are done in this place! Run while you still can!

Heroine: Oh, thank you! If you hadn't warned me, I might have tripped over the bump in that rug. I can understand why you were so concerned for me.

Hunchbacked Maid: I take it they don't teach self-preservation at governess school.

Adorable Child: Are you my new mommy?

Heroine: If your dad wants to get his crap together and stop sulking in his dressing room all the time, maybe!

Adorable Child: Because our last mommy died horribly. Daddy didn't like her very much. Probably no connection there.

Plain Maid: Hello, I am rather clueless but sweet and entirely nonthreatening.

Heroine: Did someone just speak to me?

Hero: You know, there is something... intriguing about you. Perhaps it is your complete acceptance of the fact that I'm probably a cold-blooded murderer. I feel compelled to express my feelings about you. Perhaps I will do it through song, or an epic poem.

Heroine: Or you could, y'know, marry me.

Hero: Nonsense, we're only halfway through the book. And I sense a sulk coming on.

Heroine: What's this? My favorite dress, torn apart! Who could have done such a thing?

Adorable Child: I keep seeing shadows around the corner of my room. Do you think it's mommy's ghost?

Plain Maid: Perhaps the spirits are angry. About... stuff.

Heroine: Do you even work here?

Hunchbacked Maid: Oh look, bloodstains in the master's bedroom. I'm sure this is a total coincidence.

Hero: You living here is a horrible idea. Terrible.

Heroine: Do you perhaps suffer from split personality?

Random Townsfolk: Gutsy of you to live up there. Stupid, but gutsy. We're all looking forward to the funeral though. Manor Evil serves good hors d'oeuvres.

Heroine: I am beginning to feel threatened by my beloved manor! Yet, I love it too much to leave! 

Manor: I love you too, plucky heroine! Stay with me always. Aaaaaallllllwaaaaaays.


Heroine: This tea is making me rather woozy. But lo, I will carry on, dauntless.

Adorable Child: You keep bumping into things. Maybe stop drinking tea at night?

Heroine: This cunning plan enables me to stay alert enough to catch someone sneaking into my room! Someone tall and dark and possibly handsome, someone named...

Plain Maid: Woe, it was me! I am in love with the master of the house, or with the house itself, or something. All women of the house must die! Except Hunchbacked Maid, she can stay. My motives and actions make literally no sense but luckily we're writing about a time when people still believed that women got the vapors and died of heartbreak  so we can just blame it on the crazy!

Entire Cast: Sorry, who are you?

Plain Maid: Out, damn spot! I'm just gonna go trip down some stairs now. *dies*

Heroine: She should've watched out for that bump in the rug.

Hunchbacked Maid: She died as she lived. Essentially irrelevant.


  1. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I LOVE this post. I've not read any gothic novels, but now I absolutely must. This is too funny.

  2. Lol! Hilarious. I can't even count the number of stories that went through head as I read this. I didn't know they were Gothic novels. Now I want to write one. Lol!