Employing the analyses of several relevant Gothic texts, this essay will be divided into four main sections: Coming Out of the Coffin: Vampirism as Metaphor offers an overview of two symbols which vampirism has embodied over the centuries, which includes, but is obviously not limited to, homo-sexuality and the sexual woman as monster.
Vamps & Tramps: Gender Disparities in Gothic Fiction focuses on the distinctions between humans and vampires, both male and female, and the ways in which all four are presented to the reader/viewer. Disparities between the different representations are diverse and this section exposes the undertone of misogynistic bias found in many pieces of literature and critically acclaimed films, still found in recent media.
Seeing Double: Doppelgängers and the New Woman gives examples of contemporary women taking over or otherwise destroying the archaic model of themselves and serves as com- mentary on the burgeoning New Woman.
Stake the Patriarchy: The Evolution of the Female in Literature and Film summarizes how the image of the woman has changed over the centuries as feminism has shifted society’s way of thinking and answers several important questions: Will Gothic fiction ever be able to move past depicting the woman as feeble victim in the faceof danger? Do we need our women sexualized, on some level, in order to accept them in more dominating roles? Is conventional beauty, white skin, and upper-middle class status a requirement of the heroine? And, finally, how do we keep from regressing into archaic modes of patriarchal thinking?
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(5,600 words. PDF)
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