Welcome to our blog which will discuss representations of women in Gothic Literature. Over the course of our blogs, we hope to explain the different types of women that have appeared in the Gothic tradition through the ages.
In keeping with a chronology, Charlotte’s blogs will firstly explore traditional Gothic texts and how female characters have been represented as subordinate to a male patriarch, by being portrayed as ready to marry and bear children, or, by being highly sexualised. Her first blog will look at the first Gothic heroines; Isabella and Matilda, in Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) and will explore the role of patriarchy in early Gothic fiction by analysing the role of women as virgins awaiting a life of matrimony and motherhood. By the same token, the blog will also explore how Walpole’s heroines have influenced later works in the Gothic tradition. Her second blog will move away from the matrimonial female role in Gothic literature, and will explore the sexualisation and treatment of vampiric women in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Christabel’ (1816) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). In doing so the blog will analyse the ideologies this sexuality presents.
Megan’s blogs will explore modern texts that fall into the Gothic canon, as well as films that follow the Gothic tropes. Her first blog will look at the use of women as foils in the Gothic tradition. By focusing on Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Guillermo del Toro’s 2015 film Crimson Peak, she will analyse the role of doubling and opposites in order to explore what it means to be a good woman in the society of the time. Her second blog will look at the importance of absent women in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. By understanding the plot of these novels in relation to the female characters, who have died prior to the events relayed in the text, the reader is able to understand the power these women hold over others, and continue to exist after their mortal life has ended.
We hope you enjoy our blogs! Please feel free to like and comment.