The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 28
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depravity?" 5 Mrs, Lor liner's husband and son war® both marked
by these"vlees that grow oat of opulenoa and a mistaken
The charitable feelings of Jlervyn and Huntly ar® eompli-
oated by an insatiable curiosity, a motif which Brown borrowed
from Godwin* Caleb William*© statement wasj "The spring of
action which, perhaps mora than any other, characterized the
whole train of ay life, was cariosity*"? "Why,* asks Mervya,
wi© my fortune so abundant in unforeseen oceurreneea*? • • #
my propensity to look into other people*a concerns# ♦?w®
Fred Lewis Pattee, in the preface to his edition of
Wieland, has this to say:
The influence of Caleb Williams upon
wleland has been overstressed by critics*
Godwin* a theories concerning fiotlon undoubtedly
had their effect upon Brown, and undoubtedly they
set the key not only of W1 eland. but of Oraond
and Arthur Mervyn. Godwin had sounded a new note
in fiotlon. In the original preface to Caleb
Williams he had written, *The question now afloat
in the world respecting things as they are is the
moat Interesting that can be presented to the
human mind.* The novelist, he contended, must
dominate his reader, hold hi® by a very powerful
interest, ©ten terrorize him. The novel must
have a moral purpose and the reader must be
changed because of his reading. It must be a
tale 'that shall constitute an epoch in the mind
of the reader, that no one, after he has read it,
^Charles Brockden Brown, Wleland. edited by Fred Lewis
Pattee, p. 42,
^Brown, Edgar Huntly. p. 36.
William Godwin, Caleb Williams. p. 4*
^Brown, Arthur Mervyn. IX, 116#
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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/m1/31/: accessed February 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .