The next two words are also essential for the analytical work on the hypothesis because they built the basis of it.
They are even more significant than the already defined words because reality and illusion are supposed to be the reason for the others to even exist. The noun ‘reality’ is defined as “the true situation and the problems that actually exist in life, in contrast to how you would like life to be and as a thing that is actually experienced or seen, in contrast to what people might imagine” (Oxford 1264). The first definition goes more in the direction of real-life situations and is therefore not essential for this analysis because it deals with fictional events.
In contrast, the second definition of the word ‘reality’ is inevitable for the analysis because it focuses on how and what someone experiences. This interpretation of a certain perception undoubtedly has a huge impact on the outcome of a situation and its analysis. Additionally, this definition already points out the contrast to the word illusion.According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the noun ‘illusion’ describes “a false idea or belief, especially about somebody or about a situation” (Oxford 774). This definition is too broad and does not completely fit the meaning of the word ‘illusion’ that is needed to prove the hypothesis.
Beyond that, the dictionary provides a second definition which is more suitable for this thesis, it defines an illusion as “something that seems to exist but in fact does not, or seems to be something that it is not” (Oxford 775). Both parts of the second definition are useful for the analysis and the small difference has to be kept in mind. In addition, this explanation refers to the content of the novels and fits the fundamental idea of the hypothesis because it does as well deal with the question of existence and nonexistence.
With this in mind, the word ‘illusion’ and the previously defined terms will be used as explained above to provide the basis for the analysis of the novels. III.II Victorian EraThe Victorian era, named after Queen Victoria, lasted from 1837 until 1901 and is the era in English history in which Gothic literature first appeared. Of course, the Victorian era has many interesting characteristics but to mention all of them is not necessary to prove this specific hypothesis. Therefore, this subchapter only includes information that is relevant to the following analysis. To give some background information about the time, “the nineteenth century was a time of high mortality rates, very public displays of death and mourning and, at the same time, an increasing scepticism regarding Christian teachings” (Smith and Hughes 106) existed.
The uncertainty that the people had towards Christian beliefs made them turn to other forms of occupations.