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Sexuality and Desire In Gothic Novels

Sexuality and Desire in Gothic Novels

Research papers on Sexuality and Desire in Gothic Novels discuss what sexuality and desire bring to the novels? Paper Masters has literature writers that will help explicate Gothic novels in a custom written research paper. Any novel you need outlined can be ordered from Paper Masters.

Sexuality and desire play an important role in all Gothic novels, but particularly in Dracula and Frankenstein. These seemingly dangerous human emotions are what make the evil 'monsters' so terrifying. That the enemy knows our deepest secrets, understands out passions and desires better than we do, and is willing to take control of those things which we find it difficult even to admit to ourselves- this is the strength of the Gothic antagonist. Shelly and Stoker, in developing the Creature and Count Dracula, provided their Victorian audiences with a safe environment in which to question their ideals. Everyone wonders what it would be like to give into our desires, and live by our passions. This is why Gothic novels became popular in the Victorian era, and why they continue to be cherished favorites even today.

The following quotes come from Gothic novels that employ the use of sexuality and desire.

"Burke, in the quotation opposite, hinted at the psychological basis of the appeal of the Gothic: a deep-seated need in the individual psyche to experience something greater than normal, everyday consciousness - greater, in fact, than itself."

Later in the same text is discusses Freudian analysis and it mentions the following as being applicable to Gothic texts.

"...the notion that sexuality, repressed or otherwise, lies at the root of human behavior"

A little bit further and it brings up feminist analysis and the idea that in Gothic novels "the stereotyping of female characters according to male fantasy" often occurs.

Sex and desire were used to show what the readers were really looking for in their own lives.

  1. Adventure
  2. Love
  3. Sex
  4. Something new and all their own
  5. A freedom never before experienced during these time periods. How does this thought reflect the sexuality and desire seen in the novels read in class?

A discussion of all the novels is NOT required. But it must cover at least one of the novels or story collections. The Sexuality and Desire in Gothic Novels Research Paper allows it to sway in specific focus as long as it deals with sexuality and desire in at least one of the novels mentioned below.

A Gothic text that I read was:
The Gothic Tradition by Stevens

Other novels looked at were:

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  2. Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror & the Macabre by H.P. Lovecraft
  3. Bloody Chamber & Other Stories by Angela Carter
  4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  5. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  6. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole Vathek and by William Beckford

Adventure, love, erotic entanglements, danger and darkness, all of these elements are commonplace in works of fiction. In the form of a novel, these possibilities can be explored without repercussion. While people of many generations have taken guilty pleasure in escaping the confines of their lives and immersing themselves in a good book, novels represented a specific freedom from the norm of acceptable Victorian society. It was during that time period that the Gothic novel tradition became so popular, providing a veiled outlet through which people could explore the tension between rigid expectations and the nature of human beings.

One of the most wonderful thing about Gothic novels, as viewed through the more jaded lens of modern literature and media where sex and evil are both common and explicit, is the subtlety with which these topics were explored. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why contemporary Gothic novels, at least good ones, are so few and far between. It is increasingly difficult in our society, where sexuality and an infatuation with the dark side of human nature are so blatant and common, to write about desire and sexuality and passion and power with restraint, as if they were forbidden. Kostova's The Historian works because it uses letters, journals and stories from another, earlier time as the basis of creating this environment in which sexuality and desire are still covert, where clandestine meetings and affairs of the heart are held outside the constructs of proper society and tension exists between how people know they should.

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Sexuality and Desire In Gothic Novels Research Papers

Sexuality and Desire in Gothic Novels Research Papers examine the gothic novel in literature and how sexuality and desire is used within the gothic theme.

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