Why does my form appear to create such terror? : monstrosity and gender in four nineteenth-century novels
Hall, Kimberly Ann.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. This thesis explores the ways in which bodily monstrosity is used to disrupt the binary of gender in four nineteenth-century novels: Frankenstein (1818), The Mummy! (1827), The Coming Race (1871), and Dracula (1897). This disruption reveals how gender is constructed as a category of identity and how that construction is used to determine agency. The essay simultaneously draws a connection between the critical theory of gender and the eighteenth-century work of Mary Wollstonecraft, asserting that there are strong parallels between Wollstonecraft's arguments is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the gender disruption presented in these four novels. Through close readings of the monsters' bodies, I assert that monstrosity is initially limited to ungendered features of the body--such as teeth--before the monstrous body has gender imposed upon it. Because of the parallels between the monstrous body within the four novels, I assert that these texts should be re-categorized as pure fantastic novels because the disruption they introduce leaves the reader with an unresolved sense of hesitation. Once the novels are considered as a genre the repetition of gender disruption within that genre demonstrates the possibility of an agency not determined by the binary of gender.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Beisel, Nicola; Kay, Tamara (2004-08)
Eighteenth-Century "Monsters" and Nineteenth-Century "Freaks": Reading the Maternally Marked Child Wilson, Philip K. (2002-03)
Rosenberg, Charles E. (1999)