Gothic Fiction and its Characteristics

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What is Gothic genre or Gothic fiction? Describe it with its major characteristics?

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Wuthering Heights belongs to Gothic genre as it contains plenty of Gothic elements like dark stairways, imprisonment, nightmares, stormy weather, melancholy figures, extreme landscapes, candles, moonlight, excessive cruelty, torture, necrophilia, maniacal behavior, madness, communication between living and dead. Like in a Gothic literature, Bronte uses tyrannical fathers with a troubled and a distressed family line. In Wuthering Heights, an outsider, Heathcliff is the cause of threat, who plays havoc by taking over entire family line and its property. It also contains dark Gothic theme that comes out by implicating incest between Catherine and Heathcliff.