Shock in The Bloody Chamber
- The Snow Child- murderous sexual rivalry, paedophilia, necrophilia, incest, **** etc. Shocking landscape. BUT delivers a message: human nature is shocking.
- The Bloody Chamber- 'bloody chamber' BUT raises the issue of the passive female with the naked opera singer smiling in death, and the heroic 'maman'- who is more virtuous?
- The Werewolf- uncaring narrative voice is shocking. BUT there is also admiration for the girl: 'none but a mountaineer's child'; she is set apart, superior.
- CONCLUSION: The stories ARE shocking, but not 'merely' shocking. The shock has a purpose; human nature, feminism, human ingenuity.
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Gothic Thrills- all texts
- The Bloody Chamber- rich surfaces in LoHoL show her role- class war. 'The Beast' is the devil, showing female empowerment when the girl becomes his equal.
- Dracula- the dramatic, 'thrilling' graveyard where Lucy is buried symbolises entrapment- the Gothically passive female-meaning the thrill has a purpose.
- The Pardoner's Tale- thrills are created through superficial horror- effects of sin etc. Attack on human nature.
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Entrapment- all texts
- The Bloody Chamber- entrapped by mariage. Mother symbolises escape. Saved by the intervention of the unusual- trapped by tradition.
- Tiger's Bride- entrapped by 'all the skins of a life in the world.' Only escape through love/ showing our real selves. LoHoL entrapped by lineage and bloodlust.
- Dracula- Jonothan Harker is entrapped by the vampiresses, forced into Gothic passive role. Also physically entrapped- fear of helplessness.
- The Pardoner's Tale- Riotours entrapped by greed. Old man entrapped in his body/life.
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Gender Conflict in The Bloody Chamber
- Lady of the House of Love- inverted roles with female 'beast of prey'. Fairytale like happy ending- beast vanquished, young virgin leaves unharmed.
- Company of Wolves- girl lacks Gothic passivity- 'she knew she was nobody's meat'. 'Ripping', 'blood' ends with 'tender' wolf and girl 'sweet and sound'.
- The Tiger's Bride- war between girl and father. Women who reject male power are lost to 'the Beast'.
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Gothic Settings in Dracula
- Castle Dracula- represents repressed sexual desires, madness- Harker trapped within his own mind. Links to...
- Seward's asylum- madness conflicts with Victorian ideals of rationality and science.Renfield is incarcerated there linking to entrapment- Gothic theme.
- Graveyard- represents the Victorian fascination with death- what exists after death? Liminal point- 'where the Living say farewell to the Dead'.
- Whitby/London- real and familiar settings, links to the uncanny- that which is both known and 'other'. Unsettles the reader.
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Science in Dracula
- Dracula's powers- flouts the laws of physics- godlike power. Challenges both religion and science to unsettle the reader.
- Madness- Renfield is 'so unlike the normal lunatic' that he defies scientific diagnosis- he can only be explained in supernatural terms. Love as madness: Seward's love for Lucy is 'a little difficulty which not even science...can bridge.' Science does help- 'morphia' helps Seward sleep after rejection.
- Blood transfusions- science can hold off Dracula, but not forever- has power, but no match for supernatural.
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