Anglais 1re

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1. Identities and Exchanges
Ch. 1
In and out of the Valley
Ch. 2
Nollywood and Bollywood
2. Public and private spaces
Ch. 3
Women of power
Ch. 4
Better together
3. Art and power
Ch. 5
Uncle Stan’s army
Ch. A
The colors of music - Digital content only
Ch. num
4. Citizenship and virtual worlds
Ch. 6
Ch. 7
Fact or fiction?
Ch. B
Back to the future - Digital content only
5. Fictions and realities
Ch. 9
The West wind
Ch. C
From Britain with laughs - Digital content only
6. Scientific innovations and responsibility
Ch. 10
The big smoke
Ch. 11
Is it a brave new world?
7. Diversity and inclusion
Ch. 12
The secret road to freedom
Ch. 13
Caribbean poetry
8. Territory and memory
Ch. 14
No thanks, no giving
Ch. 15
Troubled times
Ch. num
The Blues Highway
Fiches méthode
Précis de communication
Précis phonologique
Précis grammatical
Précis culturel
Verbes irréguliers
Unit 8
Activity 1

What is the Gothic?

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Text document

The Gothic novel was invented almost single-handedly by Horace Walpole. The Castle of Otranto (1764) contains essentially all the elements that constitute the genre. Today, gothic elements have been used so often in films that some have become predictable clichés.

Gothic elements include the following:

1. Setting in a castle or old mansion.
2. Anatmosphere of mystery and suspense. A fear enhanced by the unknown.
3. An ancient prophecy is connected with the castle or its inhabitants (either former or present).
4. Omens, portents, visions. A character may have a disturbing dream vision, or some phenomenon may be seen as a portent of coming events.
5. Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events.
6. High, even overwrought emotion. The characters are often overcome by anger, sorrow, surprise, fear, and especially, terror. Crying and emotional speeches are frequent. Breathlessness and panic are common.
7. Women in distress. The female characters often face events that leave them fainting, terrified, screaming, and / or sobbing.
8. Women threatened by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male. One or more male characters has the power, as king, lord of the manor, father, or guardian, to demand that one or more of the female characters do something intolerable.
9. The metonymy of gloom and horror. A sort of metaphor, in which something (like rain) is used to stand for something else (like sorrow).
10. Gothic vocabulary. Using the right words maintains the dark-and-stimulated feeling that defines the Gothic; for example: mystery, fear, terror, sorrow, surprise, haste, anger...
11. The Onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeic words resemble the sound they name; as for instance: groan, shriek, howl, crash, hiss, moan...
Adapted from “Elements of the Gothic Novel”, Robert Harris,, 2018.

Elements of the Gothic Novel

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Look at this text.

Which element do you find the most striking? Why?

Think of one gothic story which corresponds to this description. Justify your choice.

Useful vocabulary
I was surprised by...
It makes the reader feel...
Let's talk this out!
Pair work

Discuss the gothic stories you know, do they have all the characteristics mentioned?

What are the effects on the readers?

Do you like gothic stories? Why?

Useful vocabulary
The gothic stories I know are...
I remember reading... It makes me feel / I find it...
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Let's learn!


Memorise the elements of gothic genre. Work in pairs, make your partner guess which element you have in mind by drawing something.
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Over to you!

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Becoming a movie director

Let's use what you have learnt in and / or in !

You are a movie director and you want to adapt a gothic story into a modern gothic film. Write the synopsis of your film in order to send it to various production studios.

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