Gothic fiction

Annales corrigées
Classe(s) : Tle L | Thème(s) : L'épreuve orale de littérature anglaise (LELE)
Type : Expression orale | Année : 2018 | Académie : Inédit




Expression orale • Littérature anglaise

Série L

Gothic fiction

Présentez le thème des « mondes imaginaires » à travers la littérature gothique.

Nous ne reproduisons ici que des extraits significatifs de chaque document.

Retrouvez les documents complets sur Internet grâce aux liens fournis.

document 1 Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (1818)

Chapter 5


It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.


Vous pouvez lire l’intégralité de ce roman en consultant le lien suivant :

document 2 The Oval Portrait, Edgar A. Poe (1842)


The chateau into which my valet had ventured to make forcible entrance, rather than permit me, in my desperately wounded condition, to pass a night in the open air, was one of those piles of commingled gloom and grandeur which have so long frowned among the Appennines, not less in fact than in the fancy of Mrs. Radcliffe. To all appearance it had been temporarily and very lately abandoned. We established ourselves in one of the smallest and least sumptuously furnished apartments. It lay in a remote turret of the building. Its decorations were rich, yet tattered and antique. Its walls were hung with tapestry and bedecked with manifold and multiform armorial trophies, together with an unusually great number of very spirited modern paintings in frames of rich golden arabesque. In these paintings, which depended from the walls not only in their main surfaces, but in very many nooks which the bizarre architecture of the chateau rendered necessary—in these paintings my incipient delirium, perhaps, had caused me to take deep interest; so that I bade Pedro to close the heavy shutters of the room—since it was already night—to light the tongues of a tall candelabrum which stood by the head of my bed—and to throw open far and wide the fringed curtains of black velvet which enveloped the bed itself. I wished all this done that I might resign myself, if not to sleep, at least alternately to the contemplation of these pictures, and the perusal of a small volume which had been found upon the pillow, and which purported to criticise and describe them.


Vous pouvez lire l’intégralité de cette nouvelle en consultant le lien suivant :

document 3 It, Stephen King (1986)

He put on speed, and for a moment he thought he would catch the boat. Then one of his feet slipped and he went sprawling, skinning one knee and crying out in pain. From his new pavement-level perspective he watched his boat swing around twice, momentarily caught in another whirlpool, and then disappear.

“Shit and Shinola!” he yelled again, and slammed his fist down on the pavement. That hurt too, and he began to cry a little. What a stupid way to lose the boat! He got up and walked over to the storm­drain. He dropped to his knees and peered in. The water made a dank hollow sound as it fell into the darkness. It was a spooky sound. It reminded him of—

“Huh!” The sound was jerked out of him as if on a string, and he recoiled. There were yellow eyes in there: the sort of eyes he had always imagined but never actually seen down in the basement. It’s an animal, he thought incoherently, that’s all it is, some animal, maybe a housecat that got stuck down in there—

Still, he was ready to run—would run in a second or two, when his mental switchboard had dealt with the shock those two shiny yellow eyes had given him. He felt the rough surface of the macadam under his fingers, and the thin sheet of cold water flowing around them. He saw himself getting up and backing away, and that was when a voice—a perfectly reasonable and rather pleasant voice—spoke to him from inside the stormdrain.

“Hi, Georgie,” it said.

George blinked and looked again. He could barely credit what he saw; it was like something from a made-up story, or a movie where you know the animals will talk and dance. If he had been ten years older, he would not have believed what he was seeing, but he was not sixteen. He was six. There was a clown in the stormdrain.

Vous pouvez lire l’intégralité de ce roman en consultant le lien suivant :

Les clés du sujet

Le dossier

Dans le corrigé, nous aborderons le thème des mondes imaginaires sous l’angle de la littérature gothique à partir d’un dossier intitulé Imaginary worlds: Gothic fiction et comportant les documents suivants :

le début du chapitre 5 de Frankenstein de Mary Shelley (1818) ;

la nouvelle The Oval Portrait d’Edgar A. Poe (1842) ;

un document personnel : un extrait de It de Stephen King (1986).

La problématique

Le gothique se caractérise principalement par une atmosphère oppressante (des personnages monstrueux ou menaçants, un cadre angoissant…), qui vise à faire naître la peur chez le lecteur. Comment l’idée de transgression, commune aux trois documents, contribue-t-elle également à susciter ce sentiment ?

Gothic fiction

Ces documents pourraient vous intéresser