female gothic

“Into the Moving Unquiet Depths”: Dreams and the Unconscious in Rebecca (1938) Thumbnail

“Into the Moving Unquiet Depths”: Dreams and the Unconscious in Rebecca (1938)

Posted by Pam Sherman on June 16, 2017 in Blog, Pamela Sherman tagged with , , , ,

This blog series has chiefly been concerned with investigating the narrator's fight to establish her own identity in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. The second Mrs. de Winter's almost morbid fascination with Rebecca as a model of the perfect wife, coupled with Mrs. Danvers' cruel treatment and Maxim's refusal to regard his wife as an adult are all contributing factors to the narrator's struggles. However, when the mystery surrounding Rebecca is dispelled and Maxim reveals his crime, a change takes place in the narrator. Far from being surprised by her husband's propensity for murder, she list

Infantilizing the Narrator: The Husband as Father in Rebecca (1938) Thumbnail

Infantilizing the Narrator: The Husband as Father in Rebecca (1938)

Posted by Pam Sherman on June 09, 2017 in Blog, Pamela Sherman tagged with , , ,

In my last post, female identity in Rebecca was discussed and the narrator's goal of being a good wife as an ideal ego, Rebecca as the ego ideal, and Mrs. Danvers as a superego that attempts to tear down the narrator at every turn were established. This week, we will take a look at Maxim's part in the narrator's struggles with identity. Through his infantilization of the second Mrs. de Winter and attempts to protect her innocence, it becomes apparent that Maxim also performs a superego-like function by preventing her from fully embracing her role as a wife. From the moment that they bec

In Rebecca’s Shadow: Female Identity in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (1938) Thumbnail

In Rebecca’s Shadow: Female Identity in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (1938)

Posted by Pam Sherman on June 02, 2017 in Blog, Pamela Sherman tagged with , , , ,

Ellen Moers first coined the term "Female Gothic" to simply refer to Gothic texts written by women. Since then, the field of Female Gothic has expanded to include issues relating to women in these texts, including anxieties surrounding identity and entrapment. Patricia Murphy makes a distinction between Female Gothic of eighteenth and nineteenth century novels, and what she calls New Woman Gothic. She argues that, in earlier texts, "the period preceding marriage typically is fraught with Gothic difficulties such as entrapment whereas, in the latter texts, marriage itself becomes the horrif

Carson McCullers and Genre: Female Gothic, American Gothic and the Southern Gothic’s Grotesquerie Thumbnail

Carson McCullers and Genre: Female Gothic, American Gothic and the Southern Gothic’s Grotesquerie

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 05, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , , , ,

Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951) portrays the destructive power of the patriarchal regime.[1] McCullers’ use of grotesquerie brings the marginalised, the androgynous, the deformed and the weird to the forefront of her novella. In doing so, she makes the abnormal normal and the importance of binary distinctions, such as masculine and feminine, gay and straight, breakdown, at least temporarily. We feel compassion for those traditionally omitted from society and power – particularly, the distinctly masculine Miss Amelia – and we mourn the loss of a fleetingly enjoy

Review: Women and the Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion Thumbnail

Review: Women and the Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion

Posted by Donna Mitchell on August 09, 2016 in Blog, Donna Mitchell, Reviews tagged with , , ,

Women and the Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion Edited by Avril Horner and Sue Zlosnik Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pilule 2016. ISBN: 978-0-7486-9912-4 Reviewed by Donna Mitchell A welcome addition to the field of Gothic criticism, decease Horner and Zlosnik’s Women and the Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion mixes established classics of the canon with recent films, patient novels and video games, and examines them through the lens of feminist and/or post-feminist theory. The main purpose of this study is not only to explore how the representation of women and identity in the Gothic h

Review: Women’s Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-century Britain Thumbnail

Review: Women’s Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-century Britain

Posted by Donna Mitchell on May 20, 2016 in Donna Mitchell, Reviews tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Women’s Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-century Britain Melissa Edmundson Makala Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pharm 2013. ISBN: 978-0-70832-564-3 Reviewed by Donna Mitchell Melissa Edmundson Makala begins her study of women’s ghost writing in nineteenth-century Britain by considering the various reasons for its increasing popularity, thumb most notably its ability to function as a subversive means of discussing political and social issues. She notes that the nature of this genre allowed writers to explore the social tensions and inequalities which existed for certain groups without

Monstrosity, False Twins, and the Bush Thumbnail

Monstrosity, False Twins, and the Bush

Posted by Madelyn Schoonover on April 15, 2016 in Blog, Madelyn Schoonover tagged with , , , ,

In part two, I discussed Jessamy's fractured identity in The Icarus Girl, and how the patriarchal modes of colonizing England and Nigeria both hinder Jessamy's ability to assert a stable identity. I then introduced the ambiguous spirit TillyTilly as a productive presence in Jessamy's life that helps her begin to find self-confidence. Though Jessamy initially finds comfort in TillyTilly’s ability to transgress identity, as the novel progresses, TillyTilly becomes a much more fixed and dangerous thing. In keeping with the traditional Gothic trope of doubling, TillyTilly becomes a mons

Dangerous Doubling and Fractured Identity in “The Icarus Girl” Thumbnail

Dangerous Doubling and Fractured Identity in “The Icarus Girl”

Posted by Madelyn Schoonover on April 09, 2016 in Blog, Madelyn Schoonover tagged with , , , ,

In part one of this three part series, I explained how the colonial program implemented the concept of the European Family of Man to control colonized societies, and to completely erase the colonized female from discourse. I proposed that postcolonial Gothic is a medium for colonized females to regain this lost voice. In this section, I will explore some of the traditionally Gothic tropes that Helen Oyeyemi utilizes to interrogate a postcolonial past and move toward a more empowered future for her protagonist Jessamy in The Icarus Girl. Like many traditional Gothic heroines such as J

Female Gothic, Post-Colonialism, and The Icarus Girl Thumbnail

Female Gothic, Post-Colonialism, and The Icarus Girl

Posted by Madelyn Schoonover on April 01, 2016 in Madelyn Schoonover tagged with , , , , ,

Since the Whig politician Horace Walpole first penned The Castle of Otranto in 1764, Gothic authors have been objecting to rigid social and political conventions and structures, questioning authority in its sundry forms from tyrannical patriarch to power-hungry Prioress. In stories of terror and intrigue such as Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (1796), readers enter an uncanny literary universe of the hyperreal; places where ghosts of past traumas are literal and rationality will not always save the heroes. As Andrew Smith and William Hughes note, the Gothic is a “celebration of the irrational,

Review: Women and Domestic Space in Contemporary Gothic Narratives: The House as Subject Thumbnail

Review: Women and Domestic Space in Contemporary Gothic Narratives: The House as Subject

Posted by Donna Mitchell on November 19, 2015 in Blog, Donna Mitchell, Reviews tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Women and Domestic Space in Contemporary Gothic Narratives: The House as Subject. Andrew Hock Soon Ng Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-137-53681-5 Reviewed by Donna Mitchell Hock Soon Ng approaches the subject of the house in Gothic narratives with two intentions; he wishes firstly, to identify and expose the intimate link between the text’s female subject and the house, and secondly, to explore how this link’s complex dimension indirectly reveals the ambiguity that characterises the latter. Concentrating on the interiority of the house that not only makes it a home