The author of award-winning books and articles, Frances Backhouse has a strong media skills and has written for Audubon, New Scientist, Canadian Geographic and numerous other magazines.
But it is the transition between these typecasts that is particularly interesting. By allowing female characters to break free of stereotypical constraints the writer is able to create obscurity and suspense within a plot. The latter is fragile and vulnerable, she gives the heroes something to rescue, and is often the prize for their brave endeavours.
Occasionally, however, Gothic writers seem to blur the lines between these stereotypical characters in order to add depth, uncertainty and suspense. This presents women in an extremely negative light, adhering to the stereotype that all women are threatened by those younger and more beautiful than themselves.
Throughout the poem we associate Isabella with vulnerability.
|Women's Rights and Feminism in Gothic Literature by Amanda Torres on Prezi||All rights reserved Worldwide. May not be reproduced without permission.|
|But this is a battle we the people can win||It might be interesting that "The Castle of Otranto" was published in year of birth of Ann Radcliffe and "The Italian" has been published in the year Horace Walpole died. An incident of course, but an interesting one.|
|AUTHORS: C||However, Gothic subject matter often concerns the struggles of women in an overbearing patriarchal society.|
|And it could well fail before ratification||The aesthetics of the book have shaped modern-day gothic books, films, art, music and the goth subculture. Walpole published the first edition disguised as a medieval romance from Italy discovered and republished by a fictitious translator.|
However, despite losing her lover, Isabella is left to mourn for just one stanza. She is represented as an object of lust, and this is shown through her description. Clearly, this could be a reference to female menstruation, symbolic of sexual maturity.
She is also never given a name or permitted to speak which leaves her open to psychoanalytical readings. We find ourselves asking whether or not her thoughts were motivated towards pleasing the count, or whether she would have escaped given the chance.
The fact that the Snow Child is killed by the Countess could reflect the fleeting nature of youth and fertility. The repetitive use of the colours white and red also help to reinforce this gothic paradox, white typically being associated with innocence and purity; red with wrath and passion.
The brides are overly sexualised yet appear frightfully dangerous.
Perhaps Stoker was attempting to reflect the chaos that would emerge should this notion be forgotten or left behind. Mina appears to adhere to the victim-like stereotype as she is portrayed as sexless, nurturing and motherly. She is also seen as something to be protected, the men around her constantly attempting to shield her from their plans to keep her safe.
However, at the time she is attacked by Dracula, Jonathan was sleeping soundly by her side, reflecting a complete failure on his behalf. To take a psychoanalytical approach, Mina could be demonstrating a desire to betray her husband with impunity.
Mina also tends to break free of her vulnerable stereotype by demonstrating bravery, understanding the world around her and offering solutions where the male characters fall short. Lucy can be seen as a warning to female readers of the consequences of being flirtatious or promiscuous.
She reflects the transition from the victim to the predator stereotype.
This is likely because blood transfusions were still a radical and foreign concept in the 19th Century, the first recorded successful case being performed by Dr James Blundell in The scenes in which Lucy is given blood transfusions will have appealed to a female audience in the same way females to this day find vampires attractive.
The elements of danger allow Lucy to absolve herself from moral blame, perhaps allowing her to secretly take pleasure in the act. The idea that women can only be redeemed in death, usually after intense suffering, is common within Gothic literature. Another female stereotype often found in Gothic literature is that of the elderly nurse or chaperone who often accompanies the female protagonist.
Mrs Westenra is used as a dramatic device as the Count requires Lucy and Mina to be vulnerable and on their own, but ladies of that status, particularly in the Victorian era would require a chaperone.
These beings were thought to be a genuine threat, thus by using supernatural imagery the writer was able to add a sense of mystery to a female role, often utilizing this in order to make her seem untrustworthy or promiscuous.
Alternatively, the use of supernatural imagery can also be used in order to make the character seem virtuous or saintly. In contrast, women in the Gothic genre are often presented as an object of lust or desire. This is likely because the unknown may have been interpreted as dangerous and therefore attractive.
This is in stark contrast to the pure, virginal imagery used to describe her before the loss of her innocence. He rejects material luxuries in order to create his own image of perfection in his wife, the fact that he is not yet satisfied foreshadows the way he believes that only in death can his wives possibly achieve this.) to the cast of gothic fiction.
The Brontës' fiction is seen by some feminist critics as prime examples of Female Gothic, exploring woman's entrapment within domestic space and subjection to patriarchal authority and the transgressive and dangerous attempts to subvert and escape such restriction.
In which way are they presented, is there a stereotype of a gothic heroine and are there changes throughout the time referring to the date of publishing and writing?
The first point will be a short definition of the term "Gothic" according to literature. Brontë has incorporated the Gothic trappings of imprisonment and escape, flight, the persecuted heroine, the heroine wooed by a dangerous and a good suitor, ghosts, necrophilia, a mysterious foundling, and revenge.
The Female Gothic: An Introduction traditions: the gendered construction of the Gothic heroine; the similarly gendered construction Always for women [in the Gothic novel] life begins with a blank. The mother, if known, has disappeared temporarily, and an aunt may substitute.
The women's names suggest the blank, the. The Female Gothic. According to Bette B. Robert's article, "Gothic Fiction ()," female authors and readers dominated Gothic fiction, and was in stark contrast to the domestic novels of the time, which reinforced women's .
Mar 03, · However, authors of Gothic literature appear to manipulate these ideals for dramatic effect, often blurring the lines of various roles synonymous with the female gender. Women were often associated with obedience and grace, the emergence of the Gothic female ‘predator’ would have been a terrifying concept for a 19 th Century Reviews: 5.