Gothic Elements In Hilary Mantel

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The purpose of this research is to investigate the British novelist Hilary Mantel’s relation to the gothic tradition. Actually, Mantel’s novels, which are hard to categorize, ranging from historical fiction to autobiographical writing going through black comedies, can be read from a gothic perspective. Accordingly, Mantel’s writing can be seen as a contribution to the gothic aesthetic which has and continues to witness various developments from its appearance to the present time. The major novels chosen for such an exploration are respectively Fludd, The Giant O’Brien and Wolf Hall. After providing an overview of the genre’s different mutations, my work shall highlight the gothic elements found in Mantel’s novels, chiefly represented by the haunting of the past, aspects of madness and terror, the dark side of human nature, settings, character portrayal, plot construction and…show more content…
I shall try to demonstrate in the literature review chapter The Gothic Aesthetic: Overview and Assessment that “gothic” is indeed a controversial term through providing an overview of the complexity of the gothic arena and its continuity to modern times, stressing certain conventions and affinities which relate to the works of Mantel. In the second chapter Fludd: The Haunting of the Past, I shall demonstrate that this novel contains the gothic element of anti-Catholicism, secrets, transubstantiation, transformation and the representation of the devil, all of which belong to the gothic tradition. Relying on the psychoanalytical theories of Sigmund Freud and Julia Kristeva, this chapter is devoted to decipher the gothic symbols presented in the novel. A great deal of the examination will be concerned in identifying the ways in which the main character the alchemist called Fludd personifies the
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