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Gothic Women

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Penmer
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“The role of women in the gothic genre is as victims, always subject to male authority.” Compare and contrast the extent to which this interpretation is relevant to your three chosen texts.

“The wolf consumes red riding hood – what else can you expect if you talk to strange men, comments Perrault briskly. Let’s not bother our heads with the mysteries of sadomasochistic attraction” Angela Carter; Foreword to Perrault’s Short Stories.

In much of today’s feminist writings, the Gothic era is frequently defined as a period in which the oppression of females was at its most intense. In response to fin de siècle anxieties of a social revolution in which gender stereotypes could be overhauled, gothic writers, it is claimed, sought to reassert cultural and gender norms – a reassertion which inevitably resulted in the oppression of women. In view of such contemporary analysis, it is thus all too tempting to offer a sweeping judgement of gothic literature as victimising, oppressive and misogynistic; Dracula’s “victims” are all “unambiguously women[1]”, Poe victimises through an “idealised and dehumanising image of women[2]”, while Carter is a “pseudo feminist” who merely “reinforces patriarchal views” with her “pornographic” writing[3]. Yet such views are largely artificial, and are primarily based on potted summaries of the above works, rather than a closer textual analysis. If one takes the definition of a victim as a being who is subject to the successful predatory actions of another, and who is resultantly devoid of power[4], then such primitive analysis in blindly labelling “all women as victims of the beastly male[5]” becomes flawed. Read in the context of Carter’s ironic foreword[6] to Perrault’s Short Stories, a deeper exploration reveals women as being willingly complicit in adopting the role of victim. Such complicity can be further explained through the intricacies of sadomasochistic attraction, the resultant empowerment of the libido and the consequential status of women as dauntingly powerful beings. Stoker and Poe’s work may well have tried to reassert these cultural norms, yet they have instead, perhaps unwillingly, portrayed an image of women as an empowered sex with the capabilities of rendering man the victim.

Before analysing such a view, however, it is first necessary to further explore the extent to which women have justifiably been perceived as victims in the gothic genre. The description of women in the above texts is perhaps the aspect that has provoked the greatest dissatisfaction amongst feminists; merely to scan Carter’s opening short story, “The Bloody Chamber”, is to discover endless semantic fields with lexis portraying women as victims; language such as “ruptured”, “wounded”, “winced”, “flimsy”, “impaled” and “infinitely dishevelled” mirrors Stoker’s description of Lucy’s scars as “deep”, “bloody” and “timeless”. The latter phrases in these two lists, “infinitely dishevelled” in Carter’s work and “timeless” in Stoker’s, not only reconcile us to the extent to which females have been “victimised” and “scarred”, but also highlight the perpetual nature of this victimisation and its unchanging state. The most fearful discovery in Carter’s novella is not “The Bloody Chamber” itself, with its “high walls” and insidious “instruments of torture”, but the corpses of previous victims spanning an arcane time period. A far more brutal, albeit subtler form of description, is that of the “idealised woman” which all three texts portray. This is a criticism most frequently attributed to Poe; Joan Dayan in her excellent “Amorous Bondage: Poe, Ladies, and Slaves” suggests that “These women are never human; they are not warm flesh and blood, loving or hating – they are simply beautiful lay figures around which to hang wreaths of potential sentiments”. An analysis of Poe’s poetry supports such a view; he describes women as “sweet”, “ideal,” “of feminine perfection” and “saintly”, and such “unrealistic” and “dehumanising language” is, in the words of Peter Coviello, “just as brutal as attributing animal like traits to women[7]”. He continues, “His ideal, his essence, as told through his poems and stories, is not an attainable Eden, but rather an unattainable, nightmarish vision that echoed his real-life tragedies with calculated skill.” Having lost his mother at an early age[8], Poe sought to obtain a motherly figure in his relationships[9] and his attribution of maternal, perfect traits to all his women reflects this. Yet victimising through idealisation is by no means confined to Poe: Carter’s “Lady of the House of Love” is described as “so beautiful she is unnatural, her beauty is an abnormality, a deformity…None of her features reconcile us to the imperfections of the human condition”, while Mina is “one of God’s women fashioned by his own hand to show us that there is a heaven where we can enter and that its light can be here on earth”. Indeed, Van Helsing’s acknowledgement of Lucy as a “beautiful corpse,” mirrored through Poe’s relentless portrayals of beauty in his euphemistic “The Sleeper” (“All Beauty sleeps”, and Poe expresses his “thrill” at the thought that in this “sepulchre”, “it was the dead that groaned within”), is perhaps the epitome of idealisation and male authority; men are creating the image to which women must aspire, and as women are not granted an outlet to respond (they are deceased), all power lies with men. It is to this male construction of universal mannerisms of being and thinking that we now turn.

In Carter’s “The Courtship of Mr Lyon”, we are told of how Beauty stared into The Beast’s “Green inscrutable eyes” in which “she sees only her face repeated twice, as small as if she were a bud”. One could comment on the inferiority the simile evokes in emphasising The Beast’s size, or on the objectification she is recognising, as highlighted famously by Mulvey’s “Male Gaze”, yet I feel there is a far greater level of depth to be explored. Beauty appears almost vein and narcissistic in her double self-recognition; she becomes fascinated by her own image in the face of another’s gaze. Yet Eve Sedgwick, author of the groundbreaking “Between Men”, suggests that, far from being an inherent fault of women, “narcissism is male invoked and ensures that woman identifies with that image of herself that man holds up.” Clearly, therefore, one can witness more sinister forces at work here. Carter’s heroine is not a vain, self-loving being by choice; she has been forced to adopt male constructions of perfection and in doing so, has “identified” with The Beast’s image as one to aspire to. The protagonist in “The Bloody Chamber” similarly admits to a “wounded vanity” through male demands for a narcissism which admires men, rather than those women classed as vain or narcissistic themselves. Such “authority” is clearly victimising as it removes free will and disempowers. This adherence to male constructions of “correct” manners of thinking is present in Carter’s title story too: the young heroine confesses, “I saw myself as he saw me”, and later, “I was not afraid of him, but of myself”. Whilst the former of these two admissions is once again an embodiment of the Male Gaze, the latter seems entirely staged; the reader has just endured pages of detail describing the Marquis’ “stroking” of his “prick”, which is compared to a “scimitar,” and the girl’s fearful “weeping” – the fear evidently a result of the most predatory actions of the Marquis. Similarly, following Dracula’s attack on Mina, Harker acknowledges that “he seems to have power to simply will and her thoughts obey him”. Women are once again victimised into the status of submissive tools subject to male domination and manipulation; a response, perhaps, to growing agitation regarding their increasingly prolific status as the embodiment of free speech. As a final point, consider Lucy’s admission to Mina; “I know you will think me a horrid flirt, but I felt exaltation that he was number two in one day”. Such a line proves fascinating to analyse structurally; the information that Lucy wishes to convey is simply her “exaltation” at having received two marriage proposals in a single day, yet this is preceded by a “necessary” line which set the tone of the line and clearly hints at a male construction; “I know you will think me a horrid flirt”. There is nothing in the text, to this point, to suggest that Mina is in any way a character prone to judgements – not least condescending ones. The line thus seems intended for the male audience, to ensure her condemnation, and is an example, much like Poe’s idealised image of deceased women refused an outlet to portray themselves, of male control of the female psyche; a most victimising action.

An even subtler manner of victimisation is evident in the refusal of males to grant an intellectual status to women within the works; a highly undesirable trait for the perfect woman. Far from trying to ensure the security of Mina, Van Helsing’s demand of her to “no more question” as “mental exercises would drain” her, instead demands a silencing of the female intellect – albeit poorly disguised under a veil of concern. Mina’s responsive nature to this demand (excluding her locating of Dracula, she remains largely subservient from this point on) highlights once more the extent of male authority. Likewise, she is later described as possessing a “man’s brain and a woman’s heart” – these similarly ‘flattering’ comments can be read instead as pure, unjustified and victimising sexism. In Carter’s more jovial “Puss in Boots”, one witnesses the arrogant and self-aggrandised Puss bask in the success achieved through the actions of his feminine feline companion. Carter’s excellent manipulation of form in concluding the story epitomises such an unjustified seizure of merit: “May all your cats be as wily, perspicacious and resourceful as: PUSS-IN-BOOTS”
The stanza break with the capitalised signature-like finish verges on the humorous as the reader recognises the complete ignorance towards female actions and a refusal to grant any form of intellectual status. Likewise, Poe conforms to such victimisation[10] as he contrasts his academic reading of “forgotten lore” with the “sorrowed, rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore”, and with his traditional depiction of a desired maternal figure; “Because I feel that, in the Heavens above / The angels, whispering to one another / Can find, among their burning terms of love / None so devotional as that of "Mother."” This reduction to a subservient and base figure, with no intellectual foundations and a sense of uselessness, is most victimising, as, in the words of Foucault, “Knowledge equals Power[11]”.

A later analysis shall reveal the extent to which a violently sexual nature is repressed in females, yet it is interesting to note how such a trait is viewed as acceptable, or even admirable among males. Speaking of Lucy, Seward admits “Had she to have been killed, I could have done it with savage delight[12]”, and such brutality mirrors the heroine’s admission in “The Bloody Chamber” that “When he saw my reluctance, his eyes veiled over, and yet his appetite did not diminish. His tongue ran over red lips, already wet…” Male desire is thus being depicted as existing most emphatically when it comes at the expense, or “reluctance”, of women. One is also forced to think of the “choker” which is present in both “The Bloody Chamber” and “Dracula”; as brutal an instrument of male objectification as there is, yet which is also used ironically in “Dracula” to conceal marks of male domination; “The narrow black velvet band which she seems always to wear around her throat buckled with an old diamond buckle which her lover had given her, was dragged up a little and showed a red mark on her throat.” Likewise, in his “The Sleeper”, Poe concludes several stanzas of seemingly romantic and mournful language with the line, “Soft may the worms about her creep”. This perhaps erotic gratification (one must consider the phallic symbolism of worms) as the death of women is once more an example of a beastly nature depicted within males, which always ensures the victimisation of women. As a final point, consider Christopher Craft’s commentary on “puncturing” in his excellent “Kiss Me With Those Red Lips”; “Dracula enters at the neck, Van Helsing at the limb. Each refuses to submit to the dangers of vaginal contact” – one is reminded once again of the dangers told of Vagina Dentata. He continues, “The shared displacement is telling; to make your own hole is the sign of ultimate arrogance, an assertion of penetrative prowess[13]”. Read in such a context, the transmission of bodily fluids carried out by Van Helsing and Dracula can be seen as more intrusive, objectifying and oppressive than rape itself. The beastly nature of man seems to be unambiguously linked with the victimisation of woman.

There is, therefore, a substantial amount of evidence to suggest that women are indeed portrayed as victims within the Gothic genre, yet as hinted in the introduction, a more precise reading of the texts should provide sufficient evidence to the contrary. Returning to the theme of “descriptions”, it is interesting to readdress Duncker’s criticism of Carter’s depictions as portraying “beautifully packaged and oppressive pornography” which “reinforce” 19th Century views. As I now hope to show, such a criticism is simply erroneous and fails to view any of the irony buried within Carter’s work. Certainly, Carter’s descriptions evoke those of more traditional Gothic writers, yet, as Kari Lokke suggests, there is “an excessive quality to Carter’s language which suggests an ironic parody at work that extends the drama of gender performances[14]”. Beauty does not just have “skin as white as snow”, but is so pure that she is made “all of snow”. Similarly, in “The Courtship of Mr Lyon”, we witness pages of elaborate description depicting the house, “with its sweet, retiring melancholy grace…snow laden skirts of antique cypress…the withered ghost of a tangle of thorns”. Yet, “It is too much”, Lokke argues, and “Carter undercuts it as strange occurrences are explained away due to the fact that “this was a place of privilege where all the laws of the world need not necessarily apply, for the very rich are often very eccentric””. This is parody at its finest, and a similar excess can be found in her parenthetical editorialising of the spaniel’s appearance; “(How amusing)”. Such surplus “prevents Carter’s mimetic and parodic performance of gender from being misinterpreted and seen as essentialist”. Clearly, in the case of Duncker, it hasn’t, yet this should not detract from the clear irony in her descriptions; Carter is parodying the traditional Gothic descriptions which sought to victimise – her own descriptions do anything but, as the male author is belittled in the face of her satirical tones. All three texts share one other method of female empowerment through description (however unwillingly they do so) in the form of sexualised descriptions, yet such discussion is to be saved for later amidst an exploration of masochism.

Female empowerment and the subordination of man are also evident through an analysis of the role of language and narration within the two texts. Through language, females frequently elevate themselves above the status of victim, and in turn, seize all authority. Alison Case argues in her “Tasting the Original Apple: Gender and the Struggle for Narrative Authority in "Dracula””, that “To place a woman, conventionally the passive object of male interpretation, in the role of narrator potentially poses as great a threat to traditional gender roles as all the ambiguities of vampire sexuality,” and she is supported by Barthes as he famously stated, “The master is the one who speaks, who disposes of the entirety of language”. Such a reading is highly accurate; Mina’s use of shorthand is a detail often overlooked in contemporary analysis of the text, yet through it, she possesses a unique power to evoke mystique and thus subordinate those around her. She admits she “could not resist the temptation of mystifying [Van Helsing] a bit. I suppose it is some of the taste of the original apple that remains still in our mouths…” She thus “makes it clear to Van Helsing that her mediation is required before her document can be put to intellectual use – elevating her position greatly”[15]. The anxiety evoked in her male counterparts through a resultant lack of comprehension is all too evident; Harker admits to feeling “uncomfortable about such a puzzle… dirty symbols mixed up with some other language which I did not know at all” and his response highlights his horror: “You must no more question”. One senses Stoker is conveying here a fear of more than merely the presence of foreigners which caused so much anxiety as the imperialist British Empire reached its peak[16]. Likewise, through Poe’s rhetorical questioning of women to which, of course, they cannot respond, “Oh, Lady dear, has thou no fear”, he also depicts an inherent fear of offering women an outlet; anxiety reigns when he cannot control the finest intricacies of his work. This is highlighted best by his mathematical breakdown of “The Raven” in “The Philosophy of Composition” (“a combination of octameter acatalectic, heptameter catalectic, and tetrameter catalectic”), and by his victim-like response when asked if his mother’s image could be seen in his poetry: “In speaking of my Mother, you have touched a string to which my heart fully responds. I myself never knew her – and never knew the affection of a father” – he cannot control the freedom with which others question and evoke unwanted emotion within him. Similarly, Carter offers us the mute “Wolf Alice” who, despite her inability to speak, is “pre-mirror stage” in a Lacanian reading of the text (only at the end does “her relation with the mirror become far more intimate since she knew she saw herself within it), and is thus still in the “symbolic stage”. Her noises are described as “rustles”, “howls”, “snarls” and “grunts”, all mysterious and indecipherable sounds which envelop her with a mystifying and unique power for communication identical to that of Lucy’s. Indeed, Carter admits her “howling was a language as authentic as any language of nature”. Through the adoption of this symbolic form of communication, women attain new levels of power and shake established norms. Far from being subjugated by “patriarchal” language, women transcend the need to compete in the male sphere and create their own form of communication; a move perceived as highly threatening by men who had, for so long, thought that language was their own.

In her “The Laugh of the Medusa”, Helen Cixous argues that a sexual nature in women, that which is so frequently suppressed by Gothic writers, has the ability to empower females through the fear inspired by the libido; “Woman’s libido will produce far more radical effects of political and social change than some might like to think”, she concludes. Based on this, it is interesting to return to a quotation I cited earlier to argue that females were victims: “The shared displacement is telling; to make your own hole is the sign of ultimate arrogance, an assertion of penetrative prowess…” Consider now the end of the quotation which was not mentioned before; “An assertion of penetrative prowess that nonetheless acknowledges, in the flight of its evasion, the threatening power imagined to inhabit women’s available openings”. The term “threatening power”, in the context of the question, clearly depicts females as being in a position of dominance, yet more interestingly, the use of the term “evasion” highlights the status of males as victims frightened to approach such a daunting topic. Contextually, “Vagina Dentata” [17] was a fear still prevalent, at least in a metaphorical sense, in Victorian society of the dangerous powers woman’s sexual organs possessed. Poe is perhaps the perfect embodiment of this anxiety; Laurine Pruette quotes him as stating, “In the strange anomaly of my existence, feelings with me had never been of the heart, and my passions always were of the mind[18]”, and then goes on to explain how this elucidates Poe’s “intellectual love” of so many woman[19] – a love which the Freudians would conclude as the “damning of the libido”. Such a conclusion is supported through his depiction of “horror expressions of anxiety” (“soft may the worms about her creep”) which “always have a sexual connotation”. Such repression indicates, above all, the power and resultant fear that the libido invokes .We see further examples of empowerment through the libido in “Dracula”; Lucy is undoubtedly at her most fearful as she wantonly demands, “Arthur my love, oh, I am so glad you have come Kiss me!... Come, Come!”, and it can be no coincidence that within a single page, Van Helsing concludes, “It is all over. She is dead”. Similarly, Carter’s description of “Wolf Alice” with her “panting tongue, red lips which are thick and fresh, long lean and muscular legs, and her elbows, hands and knees are thickly calloused because she always runs on all fours” is written off as “not like ours” by the others. The image is blatantly sexual, and one can read a refusal to recognise such traits instead as a repression of fear of female sexuality. Clearly, through his attempted repression of the female libido, it is man who is “subject” to the authority of others – one cannot label women as “victims”.

Yet as hinted throughout, undoubtedly the greatest argument to suggest that women are not in fact victims, and that, instead, men are, comes with an exploration of sadomasochism. In her “Oral Sex: Vampiric Transgression and the Writing of Angela Carter”, Sarah Sceats puts forward the case that “woman’s desire depends on dependence”. She quotes Hegel with his view that “the possessor is defined by his possessions” and “Bondage shows its essential nature to be the reverse of what it was meant to be”, and then discusses sadomasochistic relationships in light of such critical readings. The conclusion is simple: it is the masochist who has the real power. After pages of the most brutally “pornographic” descriptions of the Marquis, “stripping me like the leaves off an artichoke”, “approaching with a weary appetite”, and then the heroine’s observation of “the child with her sticklike limbs, naked but for her button boots, her gloves, shielding her face with her hand as though her face were the last repository of her modesty, and the old, monocle lecher who examined her”, Carter’s protagonist admits to “stirring” in response. Such a sentiment is ambiguous – for Carter is never explicit regarding sadomasochistic desire – yet one can certainly sense a puzzled enjoyment felt by the girl, just as her “talent for corruption” was so powerful that it “took her breath away” – another highly ambiguous term, yet this time with slightly more room for a sexual reading. The nature of the sadist is to be brutal and dominating; in enjoying this, his position is negated by the female, and men unquestionably become the victims. Similarly, in “Dracula”, Lucy exclaims, “My dear Mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them?” – a question which, beneath the surface, reveals a fascination with being dominated and being in a submissive position. Nowhere is this more evident than during the moment of greatest sadomasochism in the novel, the “impaling” of Lucy, with her body “shaking and quivering and twisting in wild contortions…the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam which spurted up around it…deeper and deeper”. The scene is wrought with sexual imagery, and Arthur’s relentless action, together with his subsequent comparison to “Thor” can be seen as a repressive response to the masochistic pleasure which Lucy seems to gain from the murder with her “wild contortions”. Despite his “non sexual nature[20]”, Poe’s poetry can likewise be read as incorporating sadomasochistic elements which empower rather than oppress; “To …” is a fantasy about being swallowed up by the object of one’s affections, while his “To Helen” makes reference to her “statue” like nature and “Al Aaraaf” depicts his woman “kneeling on a bed” - all perhaps references to a submissive status which instead grants power to the “subject”, rather than “victimising” them. Through masochism, women can nullify the brutally sadist nature of certain men who attempt to oppress, and instead discover a power shift of such magnitude that they become the oppressors; all authority lies with them if they truly take pleasure in other’s attempts to cause pain.

To conclude, therefore, one must acknowledge the wealth of criticism which justifies all three authors as oppressive and victimising towards women; Stoker has been accused of “antiquated[21]” values, Poe has been labelled “The most conventional man ever to have lived in all matters touching women, sex, marriage and morals[22]” and Carter has “depicted a grossly unequal male fantasy[23]”. Yet an exploration of sadomasochism shows, particularly with regards to the latter of the above three criticisms, that women are not victimised but empowered through attempted male victimisation. Carter may well have “depicted a grossly unequal male fantasy”, yet this is not to say that her protagonists are victims – far from it. Just as Poe seems to take pleasure from self torture in asking inevitably futile questions to which he shall receive the same response in “The Raven”, Carter and Stoker’s females experience a certain erotic gratification in being dominated – Carter’s revelation of “The Tiger’s Bride” as bestial seems to suggest that real victimisation is to deny women the opportunity to take pleasure from a most natural act. The attempted masculine oppression of this libido reveals the true victims to be those full of anxiety and subject to the demands of that which they fear most; a sexually empowered woman. Such a figure is, as Hegel argued, the true master – even if archaic morals state she could never live “happily ever after”.

Bibliography

Ann Sheets, Robin: “Pornography, Fairy Tales, and Feminism: Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber””

Astle, Richard: “Dracula as Totemic Monster: Lacan, Freud, Oedipus and History”

Barzilai, Shuli: “The Infernal Desire Machines in Anne Thackeray Ritchie's Bluebeard's Keys and Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber"”

Belton, Robert: “Edgar Allan Poe and the Surrealists' Image of Women”

Bentley, Christopher: “Sexual Symbolism in Dracula”

Benton, Richard, “Friends and Enemies: Women in the Life of Edgar Allan Poe”

Brooke, Patricia: “Lions and Tigers and Wolves - Oh My! Revisionary Fairy Tales in the Work of Angela Carter”

Butler, Judith: “Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire”.

Case, Alison: “Tasting the Original Apple: Gender and the Struggle for Narrative Authority in Dracula”

Church, Joseph: "To Make Venus Vanish": Misogyny as Motive in Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue"

Cixous, Hélène: “The Laugh of the Medusa”

Coviello, Peter: “Poe in Love: Paedophilia, Morbidity, and the Logic of Slavery”

Craft, Christopher: “Kiss Me With Those Red Lips; Gender and Inversion in Dracula”

Dayan, Joan: “Amorous Bondage; Poe, Ladies, and Slaves”

De Beauvoir, Simone: “Woman and the Other”

Demetrakopoulo, Stephanie: “Feminism, Sex Role Exchanges, and Other Subliminal Fantasies in Bram Stoker's Dracula”

Duncker, Patricia: “Reimagining the Fairy Tales: Angela Carter’s Bloody Chambers”

Griffin, Gail: “Dracula and the Victorian Male Sexual Imagination”

Hatlan, Burton: “The Return of the Repressed/Oppressed in Bram Stoker's Dracula”

Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère, Martine: “New Wine in Old Bottles: Angela Carter's Translation of Charles Perrault's "La Barbe bleue"”

Hoeveler, Diane Long: “The Construction of the Female Gothic Posture “

Jancovich, Mark: “Bleeding the Bourgeoisie Dry: Dracula and Fears of Monopoly Capitalism”

Kaplan, Cora: “Language and Gender”

Langlinais, Chantel: “Framing the Victorian Heroine: Representations of the Ideal Woman in Art and Fiction”

Lau, Kimberly: “Erotic Infidelities: Angela Carter's Wolf Trilogy”

Lee, Linda: “Guilty Pleasures: Reading Romance Novels as Reworked Fairy Tales”

Linkin, Harriet: “Fairy Tale as sexual allegory: Intertextuality in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber” Kaiser, Mary: “Isn't It Romantic?: Angela Carter's Bloody Revision of the Romantic Aesthetic in "The Erl-King"”

Lokke, Kari E: “"Bluebeard" and "The Bloody Chamber": The Grotesque of Self-Parody and Self-Assertion”

Makinen, Merja: “Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber" and the Decolonization of Feminine Sexuality”

McLaughlin, Becky: “Perverse pleasure and fetished text: The Deathly Erotics of Carter’s The Bloody Chamber”

Morrison, Tony: “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation”

Munford, Rebecca: “’The Desecration of the Temple’; or, ‘Sexuality as Terrorism’? Angela Carter’s (Post-) feminist Gothic Heroines”

Pruette, Lorine:” A Psycho-Analytical Study of Edgar Allan Poe”

Punter, David: “Dracula and Taboo”

Radu, Delia: “Foreshadowing and Blindness in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber”

Roth, Phyllis: “Suddenly Sexual Women in Dracula”

Sceats, Sarah: “Oral Sex: Vampiric Transgression and the Writing of Angela Carter”

Sedgwick, Eve: “Between Men”

Senf, Carol: “Dracula: The Unseen Face in the Mirror”

Senf, Carol: “Dracula: Stoker's Response to the New Woman”

Stevenson, John Allen: “A Vampire in the Mirror: The Sexuality of Dracula”

Walpole, Horace: “The Castle of Otranto”

-----------------------
[1] S.Demetrakopoulos Feminism, Sex Role Exchanges, and Other Subliminal Fantasies in Bram Stoker's "Dracula"
[2] Richard P. Benton, “Friends and Enemies: Women in the Life of Edgar Allan Poe”
[3]Duncker, Patricia,” RE-IMAGINING THE FAIRY TALES: ANGELA CARTER'S BLOODY CHAMBERS” , Literature and History, 10:1 (1984:Spring)
[4] Hence “subject to male authority”
[5] Duncker, P.4
[6] Heading quotation
[7] Peter Coviello: Poe in Love
[8] She died aged 24 – Poe was barely two years old and his Father had abandoned the family
[9] Church argues that his relationship with Mrs Whitman was based on a love for the “maternal” and that “whilst they were in love with the ideas of each other, they seemed to be ignoring the realities of one another”.
[10] Commenting on literary women, he states, “They are a heartless, unnatural, venomous, dishonourable set with no guiding principle but self esteem”
[11] M. Foucault; The Subject and Power
[12] Emphasis added
[13] C. Craft, “Kiss Me With Those Red Lips”
[14] K. Lokke; Bluebeard" and "The Bloody Chamber": The Grotesque of Self-Parody and Self-Assertion
[15] A. Case; Tasting the Apple; P.230
[16] Four Million square miles had been added to the British Empire in the century preceding the publication of Dracula.
[17] A traditional folk tale in which men were warned of small, razor sharp teeth which embedded the vagina; the repression of female sexuality was thus seen as of utmost importance
[18] L. Pruette; A Psychoanalysis of Poe
[19] One must note how he recycled love poems to different women, such that it is now almost impossible to tell who the truly intended recipients of many were.
[20] Belton, Robert: “Edgar Allan Poe and the Surrealists' Image of Women”
[21] R. Benton; Women in the life of Edgar Allan Poe
[22] J. Church: "To Make Venus Vanish": Misogyny as Motive in Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue"
[23] Duncker; P.4

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How Architecture and Literary Styles Affect the Western Culture

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Gothic Elements in “a Rose for Emily”

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Adolescent Girls and Their Problem

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Assignment 2 Advertisement Analysis

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Larkin and Portrayal of Women

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