Gothic Literature and Magical Realism: The Nose and The Black Cat

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 551 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Words: 551|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Gogol's The Nose as a Work of Magical Realism
  3. Poe's The Black Cat as a Work of Gothic Literature
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works Cited


Gogol’s and Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories, “The Nose” and “The Black Cat,” are similar but also have their major differences, making them intriguing subjects for a gothic literature and magical realism essay. Suspense, flashbacks, foreshadowing, tension are all parts of these two stories. Gogol and Poe both use a serious tone to make the unreal seem ordinary.

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Gogol's The Nose as a Work of Magical Realism

Gogol’s story, “The Nose” is in the time period where looks were how you got your wealth, this is the case for Major Kovalev. He was to marry a woman that was wealthy and very pretty as he described. When he loses his nose he goes on a crazy journey trying to find his nose. Major Kovalev eventually gets his nose back but he opts out of marrying that woman and later wrote an angry letter to the girl's mother, the mother has no idea what he is talking about but is psyched for him to marry her daughter. Two weeks later his nose is back and he decides not to marry her because life is good and he is smug about the size of his nose compared to other men in the Russian society.

Poe's The Black Cat as a Work of Gothic Literature

Poe’s story, “The Black Cat” is a short story filled with twists and turns at the least expected time. Poe uses flashbacks to help create tension, although tension is already there, suspense comes into play and makes the story scary and mysterious. Poe gives the main character of this story a very complex lifestyle. When he was younger things like caring for animals and the tenderness of his heart. Due to this, he was usually the jest of his companions. Most likely everything that he went through as a child and throughout his adolescent life. Making him the way he is, a drunk, animal killer and a wife murderer.

Poe’s story is different from Gogol’s story, “The Nose”. While both of these stories cover many concepts, they have vast differences. Gogol’s story is a Magical Realism story, meaning magical realism uses a serious time to make things not real seem realistic. Poe’s short story is Gothic Literature, meaning it is going to use gloomy, mystery, suspense, tension, flashbacks, and foreshadowing. All types of stories could use these elements of Gothic Literature but are commonly found whenever reading gothic literature.

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Gothic Literature and Magical Realism are a key essential to make good stories. However, when reading or even writing a story of these genres you need to make sure which one is which and how and if they work together. Poe and Gogol’s stories do have some similarities such as,they way the both have mystery in the story from Kovalev losing his nose and how he gets it back. Or how Poe will go back and forth with flashbacks making you wonder why he did that and what will happen next.

Works Cited

  1. Gogol, Nikolai. 'The Nose.' Translated by Claud Field, Project Gutenberg, 2004.
  2. Poe, Edgar Allan. 'The Black Cat.' The Literature Network, Jalic Inc., 2000,
  3. Mann, Susan. 'Gothic Fiction.' The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, edited by Jerrold E. Hogle, Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 21-41.
  4. Garrett, Peter K. 'Magical Realism.' The Cambridge Companion to the Latin American Novel, edited by Efraín Kristal, Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 105-122.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Gothic Literature and Magical Realism: The Nose and The Black Cat. (2023, August 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from
“Gothic Literature and Magical Realism: The Nose and The Black Cat.” GradesFixer, 04 Aug. 2023,
Gothic Literature and Magical Realism: The Nose and The Black Cat. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jun. 2024].
Gothic Literature and Magical Realism: The Nose and The Black Cat [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 04 [cited 2024 Jun 17]. Available from:
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