AO5 The Gothic: Movement, Boundaries, Transgression

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  • Movement, Transgression, Borders
    • Xenophobia
      • Botting: "In crossing the borders between East and West he undoes cultural distinctions between civilisation and barbarity, reason and irrationality, home and abroad
      • Kidd: "The fact that the 'foreign' could exist in the reader's neighbourhood made it all the more frightening
      • Botting: "The origins of the vampire were explained as fears of the plague, thought since the Middle Ages to have emanated from the East
    • Boundaries
      • Botting: "Dracula uncannily straddles the border between life and death"
      • Botting: Relations between real/fantastic, scared/profane, supernatural/natural, civilised/barbaric, rational/fanciful, remain crucial to the Gothic dynamic of limit and transgression
      • Botting: "Good and evil are similarly articulated as the line separating culture, progress and civilisation from barbarity, primitivism and regression
      • Punter: "Limits and boundaries can therefore be reinstated as the monster is dispatched, good is distinguished from evil and self from other"
      • Henningfield: "Writers of the C18 were obsessed with distinguishing good from evil, truth from falsehood and reason from passion"
      • Punter: "The vampire functions to police the boundaries between normal and deviant sexuality, with the narrative voice firmly positoned on the side of the normal
    • Transgression
      • Botting: The 3 vampires seem, unlike Harker, to be unconstrained by the physical restraints of the castle (literal transgression)
      • Kidd: "Temptation and transgression are the central motifs of the Gothic"
    • Shifts and possibilities
      • Punter: "One of the most significant shifts in the movement from folklore to literature is the vampire's transformation from peasant to aristocrat" (immediately opens up possibilities for political readings)
    • Imperialism
      • Punter: "Stoker's books have imperial connections in what one might take to be the 'conventional' sense of the empire - that is as relation to what Victorians would have seen as 'far-flung corners of the earth"
    • Vampire's functions
      • Botting: "The vampire is constructed as absolute object, the complete antithesis of subjectivity, agency and authority"
      • Punter: "The vampire functions to police the boundaries between normal and deviant sexuality, with the narrative voice firmly positoned on the side of the normal

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