Vathek Stories Essay

Total Length: 909 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 1

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How did you react to Vathek?



I found Vathek to be quite a strange tale albeit with some dark humor. I am not completely sure about how I feel about it. However, I do not dislike Vathek. I found most part of the book to be odd. However, in the latter stages of the story, Beckford makes it much more appealing in a literary perspective. The main character Sultan Vathek gets into a deal with a djinn, which in the end does not end well. However, he does lead a very wonderful and remarkable life. The condemnation of Caliph Vathek in the underground world, the delineations of hell and with every individual obtaining precisely what they deserve make the book much more appealing and interesting (Beckford 300). Bearing in mind that the tale is over 200 years old, the style of writing is quite different from the one that we use to in the present day.



Subsequent to reading Vathek, my reaction to the story is that it is odd. However, taking into account that it is set in the Gothic genre, to some extent I can say that Beckford does use his imagination remarkably. In addition, the plot thickens as the story goes on and becomes grasping. It is also satirical.
It is based on Caliph Vathek, who is said to be a seeker of knowledge but at the same time loves the pleasures of the wealth. Consequently, he makes a deal with the devil that does not end well (Beckford 310). In overall, it is an interesting read. The imagination and creation of the various characters is quite fascinating and considering that the story is two centuries old, it is a gothic account that can rival some of similar narratives in the contemporary times.



Can you comment on Orientalist (exotic Eastern) setting description, and/or Gothic (horror/terror/decay) setting description in 'Vathek'? Does Beckford combine the two well?



1. In "Vathek", Beckford makes a splendid amalgamation of the Orientalist setting together with a Gothic setting. This can be perceived in the manner in which Beckford hysterically fills up the novel with a lot of blood as also sexual aspects but towards the end delineates how Vathek and Carithis, his mother, wind up in the underworld owing to their actions, a gory ending. The representations of hell and the underworld do bring about a sense of horror and dread. He does this combining various representations of exotic sceneries, supernatural events, and measured luxury of event, personality, behavior, sentiment, and speech….....

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Works Cited

Al-Alwan, Muna. "The Orient" Made Oriental": A Study of William Beckford's" Vathek"." Arab Studies Quarterly (2008): 43-52.

Beckford, William. Vathek, with the Episodes of Vathek. Vol. 1. Broadview Press, 1929.

Saglia, Diego. "William Beckford's 'Sparks of orientalism' and the material-discursive orient of British Romanticism." Textual Practice 16.1 (2002): 75-92.

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