Looking back one can see Cinderella being invoked by Margaret Fuller in Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845), a book that was perhaps the first public discussion of women 's rights. This was followed by Louisa May Alcott who in her novel Little Women drew upon both Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella to project how women in her times had to abide by the conventions dictated by men. Subsequently Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot and Jane Austen during the Victorian era down to Angela Carter, AS Byatt, Margaret Atwood and Anne Sexton, to name a few twentieth century women writers, have delved into this fathomless storehouse to reclaim the gendered agenda lying dormant in their
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
Margret Atwood’s short story “Lusus Naturae” is known as a work of fiction in which a monster uncommonly plays the role of the protagonist. Discussing character dynamics, it is interesting to examine the symbolic meaning behind the girl as a monster in this story. Is this text simply a fantasy created with the goal to serve solely as a horror story with a typical ending, or does this tale have a deeper meaning encompassing the treatment of women and their sexuality throughout history. Through close reading of “Lusus Naturae,” I plan to use evidence from the text to illustrate symbolic parallels between the unusual protagonist and the known historical role women held in society. To begin Atwood grabs attention by opening her story asking the
Deterioration of rural England, rapid rise of middle class and constant pressure towards unavoidable social and political reform were common themes in writing, Brontë’s included. (Abrams 1999:153) She wrote about the changing times in a darker and unconventional way using eerie and paranormal elements, depicting the struggles uniquely, and simultaneously criticising the majority of the burning questions and problems of the time. All Brontë sisters resorted to the Gothic novel genre in their writing, but they also greatly expanded the genre and went beyond it to accommodate their ideas and by doing so they reinvented and expanded the Female gothic into the New Gothic. This paper explores the gothic literary complex Emily Brontë used to write Wuthering Heights. The focus is on the elements of gothic and how their abundance in this work successfully enables the author to criticize all aspects of the Victorian era and depart form the established Victorian values.
In The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe showcases a unique style of writing, rendering exceptional pieces of literature. Both stories are within the genres of horror and romanticism, however, Poe does not conform to these genres, as they were in the 19th century. Poe branches out of romanticism, and with horror, he developed gothic romanticism and pioneered psychological horror. Poe believed that art and literature were the most realistic and accurate depiction of individual human nature. Deviating from romanticism, which would have focused on external depictions of horror, he concentrated on internal depictions of the human mind which reveal a character’s internal struggle and therefore make his depictions more realistic and stylishly accurate.
Hugh Blair labels the artistic gothic architecture – the setting, as a source of the sublime “A gothic cathedral raises ideas of grandeur in our mind, by its size, its height, its awful obscurity, its strength, its antiquity, and its durability”.14 Another key feature of the gothic genre is transgression. Transgression is simply the violation of social, cultural and moral norms. Gothic tries to get over conventional boundaries and break the rules of law and nature by transgressing to supernaturalism: The figurative texture of the gothic novel is a projection of the romantic minds sense of entrapment in an antiqued culture, its struggle to break from it and its guilty consciousness of both its participation in obsolete attitude and its transgression
Gogol the artist investigates the nature of the mystical essence in the light of laughter;” (qtd. in Stauffer 24). Gogol recognized the devil and saw this as being real so he included this a part in his novels. He set this as an important part of his stories, hence “evil spirits” as this novel 's theme. Such example added emphasis of his imagination as the narrator consoles that Thomas had drew a circle around him.
They would Abrams explains about the general definition of tropes. Gothic fiction began, since it is widely considered, with the publication of Horace Walpole's The citadel in Otranto in 1764. The gothic trend led pre lit with the creation of protagonist of the tales like Frankenstein and Count up Dracula as by the figment of imagination happened in their dreams. Medieval tropes in Dracula that takes on the middle ages setting with lush unique scenery and the cut off dark castle instils a feeling of dread and uncanniness. The mysterious personality of the novel falls deep in the absolute depths of exploring darker edges of human feelings and does it well to bring about pity and terror among the visitors in the preeminent storytelling format.
Yet, Radcliffe’s precocity to feminise the genre is not limited to her treatment and coverage of women’s sufferings and fears. Susan Becker further explained that her “earl[iest] twists in the feminisation of the Gothic, namely [is] in the reduction of the villain, otherwise subject of the action, to a mere function in the female subject’s transcendence of ‘her proper sphere’: the home” (“Postmodern Feminine Horror” 79-80). Striving to liberate them, Radcliffe’s narratives took the shape of suspenseful mysterious narrative of Romantic journey in which the ‘travelling’ heroine-centered narrative “who moves, who acts, who copes with vicissitude,” escaped, even temporarily, from the patriarchal confining house (qtd. in Hanson 37). Radcliffe writings opened floodgates for her female successors to write within that tradition.
This subgenre of Romantic Literature uses emotion as a technique to create metaphorical gender coding. By presenting overflowing emotions as a living or animated experience, characters in a Gothic work are given an additional layer of traits. According to Nicola Trott, the sublime is associated with masculinity by providing massive strength and size that induces terror. Sublimity creates terror through obscurity and uncertainty of potentially, irrationally terrible situations, such as murder or rape. Terror being gendered as feminine, allows Gothic works such as the The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis to complicate the gender and identity of his characters with the aforementioned