Comparing Goth and Steampunk Sub-genre

Posted by on Jun 23, 2012 in Articles | Comments Off

Many of us have seen the movie Van Helsing, this movie maintains the right balance between supernatural steampunk image and gothic horror. The characters are not taken directly from gothic literature but bears some other elements that are define as fundamentally gothic. In actual, steampunk subgenre can be divided into sub sections just like sub categories of Goth clothing, romance, Horror and supernatural. The nineteenth century punk sub genre is inspired for Victorian set up and a few Goth ideologies however it’s ostentatious assent to science fiction provide clear support to Goth supernatural.

Both of these sub-cultures are in proxy of science fiction and make best use of mammoth and monotonous technology. Also the Goth and steampunk clothing shares the same element of black color which are identify as the color of evil ‘dark forces’.

Correlation can be established between two from visible elements, peculiar way of using different ‘time’ whether it is historical, current or futuristic advance technological phase and significance of included people.

Goth is always connected with monstrous form of technology which has only negative effect of staggeration and lurch. However in current situation of literary art, no novel has been so influential like gothic novels. The same theme of a girl and her lover in periodical set up with two eye keeping watch on them and element of extraterrestrial power – almost every Goth novel bear the same plot but with the change thrilling element while punk subgenre is leaned towards fulfilling the needs of modern contemporary world which demand action and adventure whether it is burnish form of their steampunk dresses, activities or behavior.

When we compared both form of science fiction subgenre we find both opposing as well as complementing each other.

We have discussed bout their opposite nature, now it’s time to revel entity where these two acknowledge each other.

The first thing that connects them is attention to fine details. Take the example of Van Helsing movie. Costumes of this film indicate that this film is based on punk theme because from steampunk corset, top, jacket, trousers everything was in punk style. Audiences automatically recognize and establish the connection among the aesthetics of steampunk, Goth and Victorian era written facts. The background provided in Goth novel always appears threatening, full of supernatural element and induce a sense of cabin fever. The background used in creating such uncomfortable condition is characterized by reminiscent (decayed and ruined) of once thriving society which is the feature of both subcultures. However Goth makes use of such space for injecting horrifying materials while steampunk search for action and adventure in this space or looked for romantic appeal to showcase nostalgia.

The other feature of these two subgenres is – their setting is based on distinct period not ‘now and here’ but somewhere else may be from future or past in earth or earth like planet. For instance film ‘Planet of Apes’ 2001 have shown the location of another planet similar to earth.


There are other aspects also like logical use of characters against supernatural and antiquated setups which are shared by the literary work of both subcultures.


Get your comfortable steampunk clothing and steampunk dresses get ready to scare the world.