Use of Supernatural Elements in Literature

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 735 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 735|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Role of Supernatural Elements in Plot Development
  2. Character Exploration through Supernatural Elements
  3. Thematic Depth and Symbolism
  4. Conclusion

Supernatural elements in literature have long captivated readers, adding an air of mystery and intrigue to various works. These elements, often beyond the realm of the natural world, serve to enhance the storytelling experience, explore human nature, and challenge conventional beliefs. This essay explores the significance of supernatural elements in literature, examining their impact on plot development, character exploration, and overall thematic depth. By analyzing the implications of these elements, we can gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which literature engages and captivates its readers.

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The Role of Supernatural Elements in Plot Development

One of the primary functions of supernatural elements in literature is their contribution to plot development. These elements introduce unexpected twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats. For instance, in Shakespeare's play "Macbeth," the three witches play a pivotal role in the progression of the story. Their supernatural prophecies not only manipulate Macbeth's actions but also create an atmosphere of suspense and foreboding. Without the presence of these supernatural elements, the plot would lose its complexity and the readers' interest would wane.

Moreover, supernatural elements often serve as catalysts for conflict and resolution. In Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein," the creation of the monster through supernatural means sets in motion a series of events that lead to the ultimate downfall of the protagonist. The supernatural element of creating life from dead matter not only drives the plot forward but also raises profound questions about the boundaries of science and the consequences of playing god. By incorporating supernatural elements into the plot, authors can explore profound themes and challenge societal norms.

Character Exploration through Supernatural Elements

Supernatural elements in literature also provide a unique opportunity for authors to delve into the depths of their characters. By introducing supernatural abilities or encounters, authors can expose the inner workings of their characters' minds and explore their motivations and desires. In Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula," the titular character's supernatural abilities of shape-shifting and immortality reveal his insatiable thirst for power and control. These supernatural elements not only contribute to the overall atmosphere of horror but also shed light on the dark depths of Dracula's character.

Furthermore, supernatural elements allow for the exploration of psychological and emotional states. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," the supernatural presence within the wallpaper mirrors the protagonist's descent into madness. The supernatural element acts as a metaphor for the societal constraints placed upon women during the time period and highlights the detrimental effects of suppressing one's thoughts and emotions. Through the use of supernatural elements, authors can delve into the complexities of the human psyche and provide readers with a deeper understanding of their characters.

Thematic Depth and Symbolism

Beyond plot development and character exploration, supernatural elements in literature also contribute to the overall thematic depth and symbolism of a work. These elements often represent larger ideas and concepts, allowing readers to engage with deeper meanings. In William Golding's novel "Lord of the Flies," the character of the "Beast" takes on supernatural qualities, representing the innate evil within humanity. The presence of the supernatural element serves as a reminder of the darkness that can emerge when societal norms and structures are stripped away. By infusing supernatural elements, authors can imbue their works with symbolic meaning and provoke thought-provoking discussions.

Moreover, supernatural elements in literature can challenge conventional beliefs and societal norms. In Toni Morrison's novel "Beloved," the supernatural presence of the titular character, a ghost, forces the protagonist and the readers to confront the traumatic past of slavery. The supernatural element serves as a powerful tool to explore the lasting impact of slavery and to challenge the notion of historical amnesia. By employing supernatural elements, authors can push the boundaries of storytelling and encourage readers to question the status quo.

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In conclusion, the use of supernatural elements in literature adds depth, complexity, and intrigue to various works. From plot development to character exploration, these elements enhance the storytelling experience and allow authors to delve into profound themes and ideas. By challenging conventional beliefs and societal norms, supernatural elements push the boundaries of storytelling and encourage readers to engage with deeper meanings. Through the analysis of the implications of supernatural elements, we can gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which literature captivates and challenges its readers. As readers, we are drawn to the supernatural, eager to explore the unknown and unravel the mysteries that lie within the pages of these extraordinary works.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Use of Supernatural Elements in Literature. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from
“Use of Supernatural Elements in Literature.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Use of Supernatural Elements in Literature. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 Jul. 2024].
Use of Supernatural Elements in Literature [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 13]. Available from:
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