Vokey: A Gothic Analysis

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The gothic has a close affinity to the literature of the fantastic which is about the not-yet or what is to be achieved in the future. It is defined as a ‘fantastic escapist genre’ as it enables female writers “escape from powerlessness, from meaninglessness, from lack of identity except through the performance of unstable and unsatisfying roles, and from the covert perception of the hollowness of the promises of social mythology about women’s lives,” to use the words of Kay J. Mussell (qtd. in Vokey 5). Yet, the gothic’s engagement with the fantastic raises the question about its potential to criticize the ideological practices of the dominant discourse. Glennis Byron and David Punter define the gothic genre as “an escapist form, in which…show more content…
This work intends to explore the emncipartory possibilities within the gothic, displaying its potential to act as dissident work. Within the last decades of the twentieth-century, Female Gothic witnesses a diffusion over other forms of fiction, becoming “branch of fantastic literature that claims plausibility against the background of science” (Rabkin 459). Indeed, both of science fiction and gothic have grip on the use of the fantastic in order to defy the oppressive reality of women’s life and to violate this ‘truth.’ According to Sherman, “science fiction, like the gothic, displays an ability to displace cultural and national anxieties of the respective time, functioning as a space wherein these anxieties can be freely, if nebulously, expressed” (4). As a nascent genre, Gothic science-fiction is concerned with the defamiliarization of the familiar; its female writers are engaged in what Larbalestier calls, “writing in reaction” (162). They protest against what they do not accept in the real and imaginary…show more content…
This woman writer was the progenitor of a new literary form which is “gothic science-fiction.” This means that science-fiction is in symbiosis with the gothic as it incorporates its major tropes. In her novel, she takes the gothic trope of fear in order to express the distress concerning technological innovation and scientific progress/experimentation. Gothic science fiction, therefore, is “a product of cultural anxieties about the nature of human identity, the stability of cultural formations, and processes of change” (280). Frankenstein adopts gothic tropes while infiltrating science in the body of the narrative. Shelley’s text is perceived as an indictment of science which contributes to the creation of human beings/the birth myth. Accordingly Chris Baldick
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