Female Gothic Literature Analysis

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The term Female Gothic was first coined by Ellen Moers in her book Literary Women in 1976 she notes that with this term she refers to Gothic fiction written by women.3 According to this use, the Female Gothic would merely denote the (female) gender of the writer. However, this is not the only meaning of the Female Gothic. Ellen Moers also considers it ”as a coded expression of women’s fears of entrapment within the domestic and within the female body”, which became a very significant perspective (Smith/Wallace 2004, 1). Women thus felt imprisoned in the household and in their own body, a feeling that they covertly tried to convey through female Gothic literature. Smith and Wallace state that in female Gothic novel, women also expressed their…show more content…
Moers states that Radcliffe created a narrative with a female protagonist who is a heroine and a victim at the same time, which would become one of the typical characteristics of the Female Gothic.4 According to feminist critics it is also about a narrative about mothers and daughters, in which the orphaned heroine is in search of an absent mother who then discovers that she is not dead.5 In the beginning of the novel the heroine has a peaceful life and is “depicted [as] enjoying an idyllic and secluded life” 6 but suddenly she is threatened with imprisonment in a castle or a great house under the control of a powerful male figure who gave her no chance to escape (Punter/Byron 2004,…show more content…
Many critics state that there are both Female and Male Gothic subgenres, “which differ in terms of narrative technique, plot, their assumptions about the supernatural, and their use of horror/terror”.8The Male Gothic is often regarded as “the true Gothic”.9 It is considered more Gothic on many grounds: firstly, the supernatural is not clarified by an ordinary or natural cause, which causes the novels to end mysteriously (Miles 2009, 78). Secondly, in the Male Gothic, rape is shown more directly than in the Female Gothic. And thirdly, the story often takes place in a merciless universe and involves an insubordinate protagonist. The belief that the Male Gothic subgenre is “the true Gothic” has caused critics to view Female Gothic novelists as

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