The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 27
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His specific indebtedness to Godwin appears
ohiefly in a fondness for the oentral situation of
Caleb Williams. an innocent and somewhat helpless
youth in the grasp of a patron turned enemy. The
parallel is exact in Arthur Maryya. which brings a
young man of the same mm® to Philadelphia, aakea
hint blunder into the secret of a murder, and sub-
ject® him to elaborate persecutions from the murderer*
A surviving fragment of the lost Sky-walk shows that
Brown there varied the Godwin situation by making
the patron a woman. In Ormond. by still another
variation, a woman is the victim! Coastantia Dudley,
pursued by the enthusiast and revolutionary Ormond
until in self-defense she is obliged to kill him.
: But Brown*s victims do not have to undergo the
cumulative agony of Godwin*s, for the reason that
Brown worked too violently to be able to organize a
scheme of circumstances all converging upon any single
victim# And more than his vehement methods of work
handicapped him in his rivalry with Godwins to be a
master of the art of calm and deliberate narrative,
he must have had Godwin*® cold and consistent
philosophy of life, which Brown had not*3 y
The structure of Ormond is in broad outline like Caleb
Williams, too, wherein one main character is treated in detail
before a second eaters the story at about the half-way mark*
The two parts of Arthur liervya form a work
much like Caleb Wllliaaa not only because the two
heroes possess a similar curiosity, but also
because the varied subject matter illustrates a
single idea. The incidents are uniformly within the
range of ordinary experience**
Brown held firmly to the GodwinAan axiom that wealth and
rank pervert the understanding# Wieland refused to claim a
large estate la Germany to which he was entitled, asking, "Was
it laudable to grasp at wealth and power even when they were
within our reach? Were not these the two great sources of
^Carl Van Doren, The American Novel, p. 11,
arry E. Warfel, Charles BrooMen Brown, p* 143*
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Cannon, Willie Jim. The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown, thesis, 1950; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc130235/m1/30/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .