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"Projections of the Not-Me": Redemptive Possibilities of the Gothic within Wuthering Heights and Beloved

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abstract
Since its genesis in eighteenth-century England, the Gothic has provided a face for that which is most terrifying in our world. In Victorian England, Gothic monsters were embodiments of economic, social, and gendered transitions. In America, different fears lurked behind the recognizable tropes, the Gothic useful in considering the dark side of the American utopian vision, or the distance between civilized colonizer and racial Other. Though critics often read these traditions as separate entities, I propose here a transatlantic study of Victorian Gothic versus Southern Gothic conventions, considering the ways that Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Toni Morrison’s Beloved share a similar concern for the monster within. I first locate these texts within their Gothic traditions, revealing a preoccupation with the body, and the known world, that unites these texts. I then turn to the ways that Gothic tropes are used to flaw norms of race and gender, monstrosity becoming both a site of illumination and revision of dehumanizing and debilitating stereotypes of identity. The goal of this project is to highlight the redemptive possibilities of the Gothic, demonstrating the ways that tropes of the genre prove useful in revising social norms that fail to encompass the reality of the subject.
subject
Emily Bronte
Feminism
Gender
Gothic
Race
Toni Morrison
contributor
Glasser, Rachel Elizabeth (author)
Jenkins, Melissa S (committee chair)
Still, Erica L (committee member)
Way, Elizabeth A (committee member)
date
2015-06-23T08:35:58Z (accessioned)
2015-06-23T08:35:58Z (available)
2015 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/57173 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
"Projections of the Not-Me": Redemptive Possibilities of the Gothic within Wuthering Heights and Beloved
type
Thesis

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