The Identity of Conflict in Nineteenth-century Gothic Literature

MCBRIDE, Jamie (2017). The Identity of Conflict in Nineteenth-century Gothic Literature. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This thesis looks at conflict as a unifying, ubiquitous concept that runs throughout all Gothic literature, specifically looking at nineteenth-century Gothic texts. The texts chosen are ‘Morella’, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’, and ‘The Black Cat’ by Edgar Allan Poe: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë; and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. This study will compare and contrast each text, analysing specifically the conflicts within each text, what these conflicts mean for the plots and the characters, and how these conflicts can be seen to be what binds these texts under the term ‘Gothic literature’. Research has been taken to understand the analyses not just around these specific texts, but also the nature of Gothic literature, as well as the importance of conflict to this genre. This last point is one that has been found lacking in current criticisms, and I have aimed to highlight that analysis of Gothic literature should be positioning conflict as a central theme, one which runs through each text and arguably is the defining aspect of this body of literature. The texts have been chosen for their variety, and show the importance of conflict as a unifying factor, given the wide reach and influence of Gothic literature as a whole. Each text is studied both as an independent work that thrives in conflict, as well as another text that contributes to the larger reliance on conflict. The aim here is to address a gap in current critical writings, and highlight that time and time again, Gothic literature can be boiled down to disagreements and conflicts, of all sizes and severities.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis advisor - Peace, Mary [0000-0003-3455-1874]
Additional Information: Director of Studies: Mary Peace
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 14 May 2019 10:20
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 15:18

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