Gothic quotes

some quotes to learn for the exam


The Bloody Chamber

"I'm sure I want to marry him"

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  • Carter explores the effect of society on the human psyche, the narrator believes that she must marry the Marquis to gain respect in society, it is this respect that she "want[s]".
  • subverts the religious foundations of marriage where two people who love each other celebrate this in the witness of God as it doesn't explore the connection between love and marriage - transgression is a typical gothic feature
  • repeated use of first person singular gives the impression that the narrator is self-absorbed and could possibly show slight assertion within her character, subverting traditional expectations of women
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The Bloody Chamber

"great pistons ceaselessly thrusting" 

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  • the sexualisation of an inanimate object emphasises the idea that women are more than just a man's ideal.
  • also suggests that women are just as instinctual and men and can have some of the same desires
  • these feminist concepts transgress gender boundaries of women at the time, this trangression is a common feature of gothic texts and greatly influences the story's inclusion into the gothic canon.
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The Bloody Chamber

"inspecting cuts on the slabs"

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  • here Carter's objectification of women helps to create a sense of unease within the reader
  • "slabs" connotes coldness which links with the Marquis
  • "cuts" make the women seem like cuts of meat and shows how he treats he wives like meat which we can just dispose of
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The Bloody Chamber

"put a... bullet through my husband's head"

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  • the role reversal of the mother becoming the hero shocks the reader
  • the fact that no hesitation is suggested will further shock the reader as women are generally expected to be nurturing and gentle
  • a woman winning in the end is unusual and provides the text with feminist concepts and transgression of normal gender roles, making the text more gothic
  • it could also be argued that "my" gives the impression that the protagonist is claiming ownership over the marquis, further subverting traditional views that the husband owned the wife.
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The Bloody Chamber

"The faery solitude of the place."

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  • creates a strong sense of isolation = gothic technique
  • emphasises the sense of foreboding within the story
  • faery gives subtle hints of the supernatural which is another common gothic technique
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The Erl-King

"It is easy to lose yourself in these woods.."

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  • example of loss of identity
  • the first person allows the reader to also feel lost with the narrator = gothic technique
  • the shifts between first and second narrative throughout the story emphasise her sense of being lost and also the reader's
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The Erl-King

"there was a goat of uncanny whiteness, gleaming like a goat of snow"

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  • the description of the whiteness as "uncanny" gives the impression that it is unnatural and its link with the Erl-King gives the goat supernatural connections
  • these connections with the supernatural juxtapose with the traditional connotations of innocence and purity giving by the white
  • the use of similie provides further emphasis on this juxtaposition
  • "snow" suggests coldness which could link with the Erl-King's cold intentions towards women
  • the unnaturalness of the whiteness could suggest deception
  • this deception subverts the idea that humans are dominant over nature
  • this subversion could also instill fear into the reader = gothic technique
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The Erl-King

"the woods enclose and then enclose again, like a system of Chinese boxes

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  • repetititon of "enclose" creates a strong sense of entrapment and isolation = gothic technique
  • the idea of nature restricting humans subverts traditional views that mankind dominate over nature
  • "system" makes the woods seem structured, perhaps even hierarchical which could reflect the simple structure and many restrictions given to women in society = feminist view point
  • the simile comparing the woods to "Chinese boxes" makes it seem exotic and unknown, placing further emphasis on the feeling of entrapment created  
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