female madness in gothic literature

41), [34] Chaplin, S (2011) York Notes This ability to morph too is a classic trait of the Gothic female. Longman (pg. ( Log Out /  The three plays under consideration are: Long Day’s Journey Into Night, written in 1941 by Eugene O’Neill; Fefu and Her Friends Laden with supernatural experiences and insanity around every corner, the Gothic created a distinct genre of eeriness and morbidity. She is owned by the Marquis, implying that the men, who awaken female sexuality, in this instance, control it. “It was dark and terrible night”, isn’t it amazing start? 228), [19] Carter, A. As a doctor, he thinks he is prescribing the most proper treatment for her. This can be identified through using the Male Gaze theory which suggests that a woman’s purpose is solely for male sexual pleasure. Unable to have a fulfilling life outside the house like her husband, she instead confines herself to one room and becomes obsessed with its patterned wallpaper, convinced that there are women trapped inside that she must free. The Bloody Chamber Murray Ellison received Master’s Degrees in Education (1973) from Temple University and in English Literature (2015) from Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as a Doctorate in Education from Virginia Tech (1988). Vintage Classics (pg. However both texts exhibit classic traits of the feminine Gothic, particularly the breaking of gender conventions and manipulation of men. 212), [15] Chaplin, S (2011) York Notes Companions Gothic Literature The iconic madness of Lady Macbeth does not allow this kind of freedom, but certainly allows for the emergence of truth, as it explores her guilt complex. Horace Walpole’s ‘The Castle of Otranto,’ is widely regarded as the first gothic novel with ideas such as, political power struggles, the supernatural and its setting in a haunted castle, becoming common staples within the gothic genre. Works written in this tradition are inherently linked to the social context in which they were created, and a great deal of critical commentary focuses on the representation of societal and cultural fear in the face of the dissolution of tradition, gender roles, oppression, and race in Gothic literature. Vintage Classics (pg. In discovering her sexuality, the narrator ponders her own “potentiality for corruption,”[25] and although before she was innocent and virginal, her sexual awakening has led to her own corruption. The child escapes the wolf by seducing it, stripping off her clothes and throwing them onto the fire. A little blog to go off on tangents within the worlds of history and literature that interest me. Otranto, UK – 3 edition. In freeing him she gives him back his masculinity, allowing traditional gender roles to be restored. Both Heathcliff and Cathy, in their youth are wild, unrestrained characters, and it is this shared trait that intensifies their connection and love. In ‘The Snow Child,’ the title character explores the Madonna-Whore dichotomy in a similar fashion to ‘The Bloody Chamber.’ The child is described as the classic desirable woman with “white skin, red mouth, black hair and stark naked.”[34] She already appears innocent and pure due to her white skin. 68), [56] Walpole, H. The Castle of The Female Gothic. 85), [10] Milton, J. Paradise Lost, UK – FEMALE MONSTROSITY AND MADNESS IN SELMA LAGERLÖF’S “THE GHOST HAND” Sofia Wijkmark In the 1870s and 80s Swedish literature, like the rest of Scandinavian literature, was dominated by critical realism, a tendency inspired by the lectures of the influential Danish critic Chamber and Other Stories, UK – New edn. He also serves as a board member, volunteer tour guide, poetry judge, and all-around helper at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond Virginia. 880), [76] Shakespeare, W. The Complete Works However, her husband rejects such thinking. “We will talk about how the stories in Behind the Yellow Wallpaper respond to or push back against (or reinforce) the tropes of female madness in literature.” The discussion will be held the afternoon of July 19th from 2 to 4pm at the Jefferson Market Library. You can write to Murray here or at ellisonms2@vcu.edu. – 1st edn. 92), [70] Bronte, E. Wuthering 36), [63] Bronte, E. Wuthering For the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, VA, he serves as a Board Member, gives special museum tours, and writes a monthly column for their website: thepoeblog.org. ‘The Castle of Otranto’ is recognisable as the first novel of the gothic genre as the themes within this text are identifiable in all other texts studied within this essay. 107), http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/270986/the-representation-of-women-in-angela-carter-s-the-magic-toyshop, [22] Carter, A (1995) The Bloody Although the references to the Madonna-Whore complex may not be as explicit in these two texts, the traits above are heavily associated with the Gothic feminine and allow for greater exploration of the genre. In Freud’s mind, perhaps Cathy’s madness stems from her pregnancy. Longman (pg. Vintage Classics (pg. 192), [13] Milton, J (1667) Paradise Lost, Silence, like madness, runs rampant in our family. texts demonstrate the way the themes of the supernatural and madness have become a staple in Gothic fiction. – 1st edn. Catherine Earnshaw too contorts gender roles, and in her youth was described as a “hatless little savage.”[62] What a little terror. Even as a child, Nelly recounts that he “would do her bidding in anything.”[52] Cathy exercises great power over Heathcliff, even justifying her marriage to Edgar, by arguing that she plans to “aid Heathcliff to rise.”[53] Both Lady Macbeth and Cathy use men to achieve their own goals, partly because they are restricted by their gender. By Sarah Fawn Montgomery. After Eve and Adam eat the fruit, they engage in sex, the difference being that this sex is driven by carnal lust and desire, which Milton attributes to Eve. It was apparent at book club that night a couple years ago and is the most striking part about reading novels that are traditionally assigned to the genre of Women and Madness in literature. Both women are controlled by men, and are used to entertain their sexual fantasies. She perceives that the women she perceives is trying to escape from the restrictions of being confined in the wallpaper and of not being allowed to express herself. He is an editor for the “Correctional Education Magazine,” and editing a book of poetry, soon to be published written by Indian mystic, Shambhuvasanda. Otranto, UK – 3 edition. King Lear, Don Quixote and Ophelia are certainly famous examples of earlier famous mad-people in literature. Passion and lust are sinful in Bronte's society, and outbursts and passionate emotions suggests an imbalance in your brain. 207), [50] Shakespeare, W (2007) The The women in Walpole’s ‘The Castle of Otranto,’[6] too suffer within male dominated societies, and the oppression of male sexuality, although the Madonna-Whore complex is less prevalent. Their relationship is not a romantic one, as romantic relationships within the novel have been incestuous and corrupting, but one of companionship, insinuating that Isabella will rule Otranto as Theodore’s equal, and not his subservient wife. Longman (pg. Although not intended to be a Gothic tale, aspects of the Gothic feminine are identifiable in Milton’s work. Otranto, UK – 3 edition. Lady Macbeth rejects the traditional maternal role of the female, and Cathy’s animalistic and wild behaviour as a girl point to her personal manipulation of gender norms. The contemporary resurgence of the Female Gothic is part of this new romanticism. 10 Women Who Invented Gothic Literature | All About History Notes Companions Gothic Literature – 1st edn. She rejects this suggestion because it goes against her moral compass (see first Litchatte, Jane Eyre discussion) and because she is concerned that she might end up as another  victim in Rochester’s attic. In the play, and Gothic genre, women use men to complete their own goals, presenting them as the more powerful of the two sexes. ‘The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter,’ OUP Oxford (pg. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The narrator flees, saving his life as the ancient house crumbles to the ground. 884), I'm a third year English Literature and History student, and wanted a space to explore topics within those fields that interest me. Otranto, UK – 3 edition. [3] The idea explores the potential power a female could exhibit, and how this incited fear within males. Vintage Classics (pg. and Other Stories, UK – New edn. As scholars have illustrated, people in nineteenth-century Euro… 84), [48] Walpole, H. The Castle of The truth behind the influence of Gothic literature can be found in two of its most common themes: the supernatural and madness. She herself is captivated by it in a reflection, like the Greek mythological figure Narcissus, who stared into a river at his reflection and fell in love with himself. 206), [2] Chaplin, S. York The fact that she describes men as “meat”[23] implies that it is the males who are being objectified in this scenario, not the women. The Gothic tradition originated in response to a period of rapid and far-reaching societal, cultural, and theological change in eighteenth-century Europe. 1st edn. Her wish to fill her breasts with poison also goes against traditional gender roles laid down by society. 229), [31] Carter, A (1995) The Bloody Every text studied provides details about females breaking free of the patriarchal society they inhabit. Notes Companions Gothic Literature – 1st edn. View more posts, This was so interesting!! [2] Within this stereotype is the Madonna-Whore complex. Heights, UK – Reprint edn. The theme of inheritance runs through ‘The Castle of Otranto,’ much like ‘Macbeth,’ as Manfred’s pursuing of Isabella focuses on sexual desire, but also the desire for a male heir after the murder of his son Conrad. Lady Macbeth and Cathy appear to destroy femininity, which is a prevalent idea within Gothic literature, as female characters often break gender conventions, creating monstrous personas. Manfred’s determination to marry the reluctant Isabella displays the power that men had over women within a patriarchal structure as “absolute,”[44] and women as “chattels to be controlled and exploited.”[45]  Female dependency on male figures within the family is emphasised by Bianca, Matilda’s servant. ( Log Out /  and Other Stories, UK – New edn. After her murderous intent, one wonders why Mrs Macbeth would need any protecting, but perhaps after his emasculation by his own wife, Macbeth’s protection of her is an attempt to restore his own masculinity. New edn as Eve is currently sinless, this was so interesting!., ’ too has influence over the male figures around her, beginning with Heathcliff noted her! Corrections for the Department of Correctional Education in 2009 ( 2011 ) York Notes Companions Gothic is. View about why she has taken in secret each day for years a of. 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