The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 35
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Ormond'a almost superhuman skill at disguise, but retains
and develops in the hero-villain of til© title role the oon-
oeption of character first revealed in Carwin. Although he
la growing in conservatism, this Oodtvinian element still
shows through just as it did in Carwin* "He gives up, in
his last two novels, both his great-minded figures and his
bizarre psycho-physical phenomena, leaving Clara Howard and
Jane Talbot relatively tame performances. "The pithy
sentences remain, skillful plot structure survives, nerve
tingling suspense still enchains interest, but by comparison
with its predecessors the novel is uninteresting."^0
When Brown ceased the use of abnormal psychology, including
sex perversion, evil exhibited in terrible brute force, and
intellectual satanic cleverness; when he quit employing the
scientific phenomena of sleepwalking, ventriloquism, epidemic
disease, spontaneous combustion of human beings; when he no
longer included the wild elements of nature, excluding even
the Indian and the panther, the Gothic excitement was lost.
Although he remained close to Godwin in hia moralizing, he lost
the strength and interest of his better books, Horror and
terror, then, Instead of love and romance, were Brown*s proper
elements. When he withdrew from the areas of terror, he became
19Ibid., p. xxlx.
20,,'.'arf el, oj>, olt., p. 192.
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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/m1/38/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .