CHAPTER TWO Ann Radcliffe’s Gothic Portrayal I am the last leaf on the tree – Ann Radcliffe 1 2.1. Biographical Sketch Ann Radcliffe was the most popular novelist of the early gothic fiction. She wrote a series of Gothic fictions in the 1790s, just as the gothic genre was reaching its peak of popularity in England and America.2 Ann Ward was born in London on July, 1764. She was the only child of William Ward and Ann Oates. She received well education.
Unlike most of its contemporaries, the series gives a backstory to each of its witches, which gives it a more realistic feel. It could arguably be said to be one of the most character driven paranormal novels, as its focus is the relationship between the lead protagonist Maggie, her possible love interests, her boyfriend, her mother, and her three sisters. April Aasheim shines in the depiction of relationships particularly between Maggie and her sisters. The jealousy, protectiveness, co-dependence, adoration, sibling rivalry and all sorts of sisterly love and emotions make for such a thrilling ride. When it comes to a novel about witches, the Daughters of Dark Root has some of the best awesome magic you could ever find in a paranormal or magic novel.
Mina Murray Harker is a woman to inspire many. Bram Stoker, author of the classic gothic horror novel Dracula, intentionally creates the character of Mina Murray Harker to do just that - inspire women. Throughout Dracula, Mina goes through a multitude of ups and downs, like any character in a book. However, Mina is not like any other book character. She is a strong, independent, intelligent woman who breaks gender and societal barriers.
The Victorian era was the great age of the English novel—realistic, thickly plotted, crowded with characters, and long. It was the ideal form to describe contemporary life and to entertain the middle class. The intellectuals and artists of the age had to deal in some way with the upheavals in society, the obvious inequities of abundance for a few and squalor for many, and, emanating from the throne of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), an emphasis on public rectitude and moral propriety. Between the multitude of novelist of Victorian Age women took an important place as writers. Emily Brontë’s single novel Wuthering Heights (1847) is a unique masterpiece for the image of love and passion that gives and the unusual narrative structure.
Female sexuality and its representation has been the primary concern of this research while applying each of the approaches to proves that du Maurier’s work builds on Jane Eyre but the portrayal it grants to feminine sexuality and identity renders her work a narrative of modernity on its own. Several critics have analyzed the intertexuality between the two novels. However, this study builds what has been said before to dwell on the not yet exhausted topic of feminine sexuality. Nungesser is one of the critics who have presented a comparison between the novels to conclude that both works bring an air of freshness and novelty to the traditional female Gothic plot, the novel of development and the fairy-tale narratives. Nonetheless, Nungesser overlooks to precise subject of female sexuality which happens to be submerged in Jane Eyre’s concern with presenting a financial independent heroine whom in spite of what she suffered prefers to spend the rest of her days as a mere angel of the house.
These woman characters are not conventional role models, but are endowed with a large measure of independence. The case of Catherine is the height of female assertiveness when she cries out in the most important ninth chapter of the novel Wuthering Heights “Nelly, I am Heathcliff!”….. “He’s always, always in my mind……as my own being.”6 This type of complete identification with a male is not only unknown in previous heroines, but is also quite unique even in later generations too. These three sisters have put so much of passionate energy and stormy vitality in their heroines that these woman characters may be rated as the first prototypes of feminist characters of
Victorian literature is a literature written in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, or roughly from 1837 -1901. It is largely characterized by the struggle of working people and the success; of right over wrong. It happened to be in the Victorian era (1837–1901) that the novel became the leading classification in English. Women played an important part in this rising popularity both as authors as well as readers. Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), the title of the book was meant to highlight the inferiority of women as compared to men, or, alternatively, describe the lives of simple people, "unimportant" in the social sense.
In the same time, these literary works have differences, for the most part because the latter underlines the evolution in Jane’s writing style and ideas determined by satirical images of the high-class, and appoints a novel, typical for the mature stage of her career, while Pride and Prejudice is a model of her beginning as a writer. The first novel shapes the middle-class society (the Bennet family, their relatives, and neighbors), in an accurate way, especially because the author belonged to it; she spend her entire life in this social circle, and her continually encounters with its members provided her, those well painted details. Thus, Austen is perfectly aware of the desires and aspirations of the women and men in this class. Those people were craving to overcome their social status, they were in constant search of means which could endow them, and so they were capable of many things to achieve their purposes. Therefore, the main characters of this novel, the Bennet family, who were having five unmarried daughters, were struggling to assure their future, by marrying them in the upper-class: A single man of large fortune; four of five thousand a year.
Gothic-horror -to be specific- fits the genre of the story perfectly and with such a clear example, it sets the standard for all gothic-inspired authors that followed Poe. The reason that the story would eventually grow to be such an excellent example to gothic literature is that it contains obvious signs of gothic characteristics such as betrayal, castles, death, psychologically ill characters etc. For example, in the introduction of the story, the narrator starts off by describing the desperate and gloomy looking run down castle that belongs to the Ushers. Then as the reader finds out that Madeline would eventually be buried alive when she was mistakenly presumed dead, the plot becomes even more intense. Besides the creepy and disturbing description that the narrator gives of the house or the environment such as the winds, the creepiest and most insane part of the story was the part when Madeline frantically climbs out of her coffin; “covered in blood and obviously struggling.” As Poe describes how she violently falls onto Roderick who then dies from a panic attack, the intent was to strike fear through the reader.
Northanger Abbey was the first completed novel by Jane Austen, one of the most famous novelists of the early 19th century and British novelists in general. Austen is known for her social commentary, as well as romance, for which some of her works like Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility are popular even today. Northanger Abbey is a novel famous for its satirizing of the Gothic novel, simultaneously criticizing the values of people (stressing the importance of education for women) and illustrating the life of the British gentry, placing the spotlight over a young woman and her adapting to the real world surrounding her. Therefore, it is hard to place this novel into only one specific genre, just like it is hard to identify Austen with a particular literary movement as romanticism or Victorian literature.