Decadence Female Sexuality

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Female sexuality treated as subversive.
In Carmilla female sexuality is monstrous, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen argues that 'a monster's body is a cultural body' that incarnates a culture's worst fears, fantasies, and taboos.
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Theme of women being punished for sexuality.
Carmilla, Laura, and Lyndall all die.
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Christine Haskill argues Lyndall's death might be a 'valuable failure'.
Lyndall's death offers a legacy that future feminists can build on.
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Bram Dijkstra: 'For a woman to take on such masculine qualities was a sign of reversion,
a sinking back into the hermaphroditism of that indeterminate primal state, just as it was a clear sign of analogous degeneracy in the male to show himself to be effeminate.'
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As a child Lyndall dreams of power - 'we will not be children always; we shall have the power too someday'
but goes to girl's boarding school and finds it to be the worst experience 'In to how little space a human soul can be crushed'
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Image of crushing recurrent - 'we fit our sphere as a Chinese woman's foot fits her shoe'
shows her intelligence
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Christianity - long-standing patriarchal institution?
'When people are married though they should have sixty children, they throw the whole onus on God. When they are not, we hear nothing about God's having sent them' - resents how god only responsible for legitimate children.
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Sex quote - You are the first man I was ever afraid of - And - a dreamy look came into her face - 'because I like to experience, I like to try'.
Lyndall wants all knowledge and power, inc. sexual.
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Carmilla - female sexuality discussed in terms of vampirism - makes desire seem beastly
Vampires exchange bodily fluids - like sex
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Novella reveals and conceals female sexuality - 'she died in the peace of innocence... She is gone without so much as a conjecturing the nature of her illness'
Laura told Carmilla did not really love her by Baron Vordenberg - 'is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence, resembling the passion of love'
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Tamar Heller believes the black woman in the carriage symbolises 19th century racist and sexist iconography
The woman as angry, animalistic and demonic sexual other.
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Only time Laura sees her attacker she describes the creature as a 'sooty black creature that resembled a monstrous cat'
Perhaps Carmilla not always the visitor, cat terrifies her but at other times experiences something closer to ****** ' a dreadful convulsion, in which my senses left me'.
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Luce Irigary identified a hegemonic structure that leaves female desire ' only a choice between a sort of animality...and the imitation of male models...any interplay of desire among women's bodies, organs, and language is inconceivable.
If the cat is an example of female desire, then Le Fanu offers readers both the animality and the imitation of male models that are the only sensuality available to Carmilla in a male-dominated culture.
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Laura - 'Her language was unintelligible to me'. Perhaps it is a 'boyish lover' in disguise?
Laura led a naive, secluded life, but perhaps hetero-normative structure inherent to those around her.
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Nested - narrative - told to atownslady
Maybe because for Laura directly to show sin would be to revel in it?
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Le Fanu could not have acceptably ended his story any other way
than by suppressing the lesbian vampire who defied male authority.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Carmilla, Laura, and Lyndall all die.

Back

Theme of women being punished for sexuality.

Card 3

Front

Lyndall's death offers a legacy that future feminists can build on.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

a sinking back into the hermaphroditism of that indeterminate primal state, just as it was a clear sign of analogous degeneracy in the male to show himself to be effeminate.'

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

but goes to girl's boarding school and finds it to be the worst experience 'In to how little space a human soul can be crushed'

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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