Short Story

The short story genre alters the gothic conventions by altering the time line of the story.  When reading a gothic short story the timeline of the story is sped up, which does not allow for some of the necessary history or background on characters, which would usually be present in a regular novel.  This background information is crucial to help build the suspense and mystery of the story and it also give the reader a sense direction within the story.  In H.P. Lovercraft’s short story “The Evil Clergyman” the lack of background history makes the story very dry and somewhat boring.  In the story Lovecraft drops the reader into the story media res, and never gives any insight into the main character or why he is going to this persons house or who it was that died and why they are significant.  The story leaves many questions unanswered for the reader. Instead the story chooses to focus on trying to create horrifying scenario by jumping straight to the action of the main character in the attic.  The action of the story is weakened and the horror that Lovecraft was attempting to create does not happen for me because there is not enough of a back story or history to give any connection to the main character or to the events which are transpiring, the story also fails to explain where and how the main character receives his special flashlight.  Instead the story tries to wrap everything up with a sentences at the end.  It leaves so many unanswered questions that it makes the story fall short of being scary or suspenseful at all.  The short story is unfulfilled because of the shorter timeline it does not give enough background information for the story to work well within the traditional gothic conventions.

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