Lydia Gwilt in ‘Armadale’: Flame-Haired Femme Fatale

Lydia Gwilt is the standout character of Wilkie Collins’s ‘Armadale,’ so much so that her wicked ways horrified Victorian readers. It’s no surprise given her status in the story as a liar, bigamist, husband poisoner and temptress. She was truly the antithesis of the demure, domestic and good-natured Victorian woman. I mean, in her firstContinue reading “Lydia Gwilt in ‘Armadale’: Flame-Haired Femme Fatale”

Alec D’Urberville: Religious Fanaticism, Temptation and the Bible

Alec D’Urberville is ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ big bad, as his rape of Tess sets all of the events of the novel in motion, leading Tess down a path of misery which ends in her death and his. Alec is initially portrayed as a bit of a moustachioed pantomime villain, but his later resurgence inContinue reading “Alec D’Urberville: Religious Fanaticism, Temptation and the Bible”

The Queer Displacement of Desire in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’

Today we navigate through the dangerously queer displacements of desire in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’! Before we start, some definitions: ‘Displacement’ originates from Freud and is defined as the unconscious ‘shifting of energy’ from one person to another, the ‘energy’ in question being desire. [1] ‘Queer’ refers to anything that opposes the dominant ideals that humanityContinue reading “The Queer Displacement of Desire in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’”

Defending Estella from ‘Great Expectations’

A case for one of Dickens’ frostiest characters. To match with the chilly weather that we are getting this January I thought I’d write about one of the iciest characters out there, Estella from Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations.’ Her reputation precedes her, and I for one can’t understand Pip’s infatuation with her… or people’s hatredContinue reading “Defending Estella from ‘Great Expectations’”

The Gothic in ‘A Christmas Carol’

Searching for the Gothic in Dickens’ Christmas classic! ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a classic Christmas story, as it encompasses all that should be at the heart of Christmas. Love, joy, family… and a prize turkey that can feed the five thousand. It also gives us the lesson that people can change and that sometimes theyContinue reading “The Gothic in ‘A Christmas Carol’”

Thomas Hardy’s use of colour in ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’

Note: This article will probably make more sense if you have read the novel, and contains spoilers!
Some thoughts on Hardy’s use of colour in the aforementioned novel, based on my first reading of it!

On the Madonna-Whore Complex of Women in Gothic Literature

Feminist criticism formed the idea of the ‘feminine Gothic,’ a term that examines the portrayal of female characters within the Gothic genre.[1] Critics focused on the tendency of male writers to keep female characters within the constraints of social stereotypes, leaving them victims of the traditional misogynistic and patriarchal culture.[2] Within this stereotype is theContinue reading “On the Madonna-Whore Complex of Women in Gothic Literature”