Goth and It’s Relevance Today

Life indeed can be quite confusing for most, and the secrets that it holds are mostly not understood. While life is so incomprehensible, death is something that is not worth talking about, for humans do not really know what happens after death. Though there have always been various beliefs ranging from after life to plain organic disintegration, none of the beliefs or claims can be proved.

Gothic culture as one knows it today is something that is closely linked to death, human sexuality and the supernatural. In fact, gothic art took its roots in the medieval Europe but found a breather during the 19th and 20th centuries when gothic literature became popular. So popular indeed that modern literature looked down upon gothic literature for it was considered too “street”.

The best example of gothic literature could be Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and also “Monk” by Matthew Gregory Lewis. In fact, there have been many other famous gothic fiction works by authors like Ann Radcliffe, Jane Eyre and others. While it was considered almost Pulp Fiction then, gothic culture revolved around haunted castles, unfulfilled desires, monsters, vampires, madness and a leaning towards death and destruction.

The modernist movement almost killed the gothic culture and it was revived after the punk scene, in the form of music. Gothic music has been the reason for gothic culture “not being dead, but undead”. Bands like Bauhaus, Siouxie and the Banshees, The Cure, and many others brought back the gothic realm again into art. With gothic music encouraging a number of fans to discover their inner Goth; fashion, accessories, paraphernalia, movies and even literature have begun to flourish across Europe and the Americas.

While gothic culture is too vast to be done justice to, it is interesting to note how humans have been captivated by death, darkness, cold, dreary and the gloomy. This eternal gloom is perhaps what the reality is, and most fail to see the sullen skies while basking under illusory warmth. The haunted castles may no longer be found in abundance, but each person’s mind is a haunted castle, with monsters in abundance. While these monsters continue to control humans unseen, their identities may remain secrets too.

Gothic culture has its roots in architecture but continued on a journey spawning literature, music, film, fashion, design and perhaps all known forms of expression. Though there are many who are attracted to Gothic subculture because of its dark and black aesthetics, it still remains a state of mind. The pall of gloom, disenchantment with almost everything around, a sweet affectionate feeling towards death and the dead, and a burning desire that knows no limits; these continue to haunt humans now and will continue to do so in future.

Being so obsessed with death may imply violence, but Goth is about the peace that is associated with death and the dead. The silence of the grave, the mist that refuses to lift over a broken tree in the forest, and the silent scream of a youngster in a broken down house, have an aesthetic appeal that can’t be ignored. It is perhaps this dark aesthetic of Goth that makes it a resilient genre and subculture. Perhaps the music and literature have been the media through which Goth found its real voice. Though Gothic literature has waned, it sure stays on, undead.


Sources: Gothic Subculture, Fangoria, BBC

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