The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 43
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superstitions and terrible things usually employed for such
purposes. Critics readily admit that Brown, a lover of
nature and acquainted with his section of the country, was
successful in depicting the Indian vividly and faithfully.
It is true that in adgar Huntly Brown introduces European
material, and sleepwalking is the chief source of interest,
hut the scene of the story is distintively American, laid in
or near the forests of Pennsylvania, then primeval. Skillfully
Brown describes the wilderness of early times, The almost
impenetrable forests are a fitting background for Indian
depredations, there are valleys and hills in their original
state, areas of solitude with their panthersj there are
crevices and subterranean passages, These are typically
American and far removed from the conventional backgrounds of
the foreign novel.
Brown did not idealize the Indian, In Sdgar Huntly the
whole situation is one of grim reality and reflects the implacable
hatred of a race driven from its hunting-grounds by the steady
march of the white man. Old Deb, the Indian who instigated
the depredations, is viewed in anything but a romantic light.
Brown's realistic Old Deb, who lives on public bounty and
fancies many grievances, la a portrayal which makes her more
like a person described from actual observation than any of the
The village Inhabited by this clan was built
upon the ground which now constitutes my uncle's
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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/m1/46/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .