female madness in gothic literature

She is owned by the Marquis, implying that the men, who awaken female sexuality, in this instance, control it. 229), [31] Carter, A (1995) The Bloody It’s so interesting to think about how much of our experiences as women is shared. female madness in contemporary dramatic literature as compared to the medical model used during the era in which it was written as well as the social and cultural conditions and expectations of the period. Heights, UK – Reprint edn. Wordsworth In contrast to ‘The Snow Child’ and ‘The Bloody Chamber,’ female sexuality is empowering, much like in ‘The Lady of the House of Love,’ and is what protects women from those who would harm them. Despite the initial impressions of ‘The Castle of Otranto,’ that the males will dominate all female characters, there are several incidences in which Matilda and Isabella gain independence, facilitating a switch in conventional gender roles. 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. – 1st edn. 197), [12] Milton, J. Paradise Lost, UK – 1st edn. Rest in peace Matilda. Vintage Classics (pg. What is mad about these women? Longman (pg. Echoing Chaplin’s words, the sexuality of the young female makes her appear vulnerable,[18] but by the end of the story she is the dangerous figure, fighting against her captor by using her sexuality, and using the control that it grants her. Classics, [5] Carter, A (1995) The Bloody Chamber and Other 197), [11] Milton, J. Paradise Lost, UK – 1st edn. Vintage Classics (pg. and Other Stories, UK – New edn. UK – 1st edn. Wordsworth Classics (pg. When Aunt Reed, her caretaker, hears the commotion, she takes her son’s side and admonishes Jane for talking back to her son. The sister’s name strongly suggests to readers that she is mad about something. Isabella flees in terror, and who can blame her, but finds herself incarcerated by the patriarchal society of the novel, which is a common theme within the gothic genre. By noting that her love for Edgar is like the “foliage in the woods,”[65] Cathy openly admits that she has no strong feelings for him, implying a dramatic change in her character and behaviour when she goes forward with the wedding. Wordsworth Classics (pg. 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. The theme of virginity runs through the texts, showing how important the ‘Madonna’ aspect of the complex was in many different historical eras. Longman (pg. of William Shakespeare, UK – 1st edn. The Female Gothic. Wordsworth Classics (pg. OUP Oxford (pg. Stories, UK – New edn. 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. 29), [53] Bronte, E. Wuthering Heights, UK – Reprint edn. A little blog to go off on tangents within the worlds of history and literature that interest me. – 1st edn. In her madness, Cathy’s eyes are described to be “flashing,” and the “muscles” in her neck and arms stand out “preternaturally.”[70] Her hair also flies over her shoulders. Otranto, UK – 3 edition. Although both forms of madness serve the story well, and make for dramatic reading, it provides another example as to how women in Gothic literature are overlooked, and do not possess the mental strength of their male counterparts. Isabella too comes into this category, as her “soul is pure as virtue itself.”[40] Manfred is aware that his “fate depends on having sons,”[41] and proceeds to have sex with Isabella on the “night”[42] of his own sons death. Viewing these works from a 21st century perspective allows for greater assessment of the Freudian complex, as women are no longer expected to conform to these distinct ideas, which can be seen in Carter’s contemporary depiction of the power of female sexuality within her stories. The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, UK – New These ideas are thoroughly supported and explored in Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s book, The Madwoman in the Attic (Yale University P, 1979), as well as in many other literary discussions of fictional works written during this period. 228), [19] Carter, A. Companions Gothic Literature – 1st edn. Female sexuality is similarly dangerous in ‘The Lady of the House of Love.’ This particular tale should be noted as it contorts gender roles, as it is made explicitly clear, that the female is the predator, and that the timid virgin is male. 229), [30] Chaplin, S. York Notes Companions Gothic Literature – 1st Longman (pg. The Bloody Chamber 211), [14] Milton, J. Paradise Lost, UK – 1st edn. Vintage Classics (pg. 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. Wordsworth editions (pg. But she is confused by the conflicting roles he plays between being a medical authority and a caring husband; consequently, she attempts to obey him. Edgar Allan Poe’s 1829 short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” takes Frankenstein to the next level. 45), [49] Chaplin, S (2011) York Notes Companions Gothic Literature Otranto, UK – 3 edition. Chamber and Other Stories, UK – New edn. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. This temporary switch in gender roles allows the reader to see the power that Matilda wields, as the daughter of Manfred. ‘The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter,’ This is some serious Gothic girl power. texts demonstrate the way the themes of the supernatural and madness have become a staple in Gothic fiction. edn. A Monster in the House: Gothic and Victorian Representations of Female Madness explores female madness and mental illness as perceived by Gothic and Victorian society over the span of three literary works: The Fall of the House of Usher (1839); Jane Eyre (1847), and The Yellow Wallpaper (1892). [2] Within this stereotype is the Madonna-Whore complex. In several of her short stories, such as ‘The Erl King’ and ‘The Bloody Chamber,’ it is the women who overcome patriarchal oppression and become their own saviours, sometimes using their sexuality to do so. Passion and lust are sinful in Bronte's society, and outbursts and passionate emotions suggests an imbalance in your brain. Longman (pg. She, instead, is convinced that she needs to write to relieve her anxieties. Although she has this power, the protagonist is overcome by the Marquis, and is corrupted by the discovery of her sexuality, causing her to embody fully the Madonna-Whore complex. Within book nine of ‘Paradise Lost,’ Eve is seen as a pure female, but also a corrupted individual after Satan tempts her. 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. and Other Stories, UK – New edn. Complete Works of William Shakespeare, UK – 1st edn. It is this plot strand that makes the women of the story, Isabella, Matilda and Hippolita, important, as they have, and have had, the means to bear children. Please say you’re doing this for your dissertation because you wrote this so well, Thanks very much this really helped me answer my essay question which was ‘In Gothic writing, female characters are generally presented as victims.’. Penguin Classics (pg. Longman (pg. Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin (1990) Another retelling of sorts, this one from the point of view of a … Laden with supernatural experiences and insanity around every corner, the Gothic created a distinct genre of eeriness and morbidity. When reading and reviewing Gothic texts, the prevalence of ghosts, mysterious apparitions, and unexplainable sounds and events is apparent. In an uncontrollable fit, she informs her aunt that the spirits of the dead are planning to seek revenge on her for breaking her promise to her dying husband. The masquerade of her newfound propriety with Edgar hides the truth of her wild, free nature. The complex is identifiable in Milton’s blank verse poem ‘Paradise Lost,’[4] which gives voice to the Biblical characters of Genesis. Although brief, in these lines the protagonist embodies the Madonna aspect of the complex, as she is presented as a pure, chaste bride. (pg. Milton’s first marriage in 1642 to Mary Powell was short lived, perhaps due to his reformist views and her royalist ones, which caused contention during the first civil war. “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. Otranto, UK – 3 edition. By examining issues of Spiritualism, Freudian theory, and women’s medicine in . Eve explores, and embodies, the Madonna-Whore disunion. No doubt, it is amazing to read a horror story with a great plot. Within ‘Paradise Lost,’ Eve morphs from Madonna to whore through the eating of the fruit from the tree of good and evil, her transformation implied by the lustful sex that she shares with Adam afterward.

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