Guide Queering Gothic in the Romantic Age: The Penetrating Eye

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Like Matilda, Josephine Franklin also appropriates male characteristics to question the social order.

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Josephine Franklin is perceived as a sexual body, beginning with her first introduction in the narrative. In contrast to Matilda, her exposure happens in private, which suggests that sexuality is only indulged in private also. The concept of private sexuality versus public sexuality puts emphasis on Gothic tropes such as secrecy and licentiousness. For Josephine, her lust is only indulged behind closed doors, even though she openly expresses her desire.

The word usually sets Josephine apart from other women; it suggests that Josephine is unusual in character and expressions of desire. The crossing of boundaries and appropriation of male traits such as lust and expression of sexual desire present Josephine as a transgressive female body. Josephine also possesses unusual power for a woman in nineteenth century America. Josephine is not a sorceress like Matilda, but she still possesses power.

This description frames Josephine as the opposite of an idealized domestic female body, which would be meek and submissive.

This passage suggests that Josephine is able to exert power over people in general, both male and female. In addition to lust and power, Josephine also exerts agency. Like Matilda, Josephine exerts agency by choosing her gender identity. Josephine disguises herself as a male for a masquerade party. The reader is not yet made aware that the stranger is the rector, Doctor Sinclair, but this revelation brings into question homoerotic desire and the purity of the church, much like Matilda and Ambrosio in The Monk. Josephine exhibits masculine agency in being able to choose the partner she pleases, in addition to being able to choose her gender identity.

In this scenario, Josephine desires to embody male characteristics in order to exert dominance and she does so successfully. Josephine has the agency to choose what kind of desire she invokes, exhibiting power and agency. Finally, even though Josephine reveals gender as definite—an individual is one or the other—it is still a choice. Josephine poses a critique on social order through seeking a heteronormative domestic life, yet not being able to obtain that and instead engaging in transgressive sexual activity.

Fundamental values are endorsed and affirmed through Josephine: the sinful affair that transpires between her and the rector occurs during her honest search for a male companion. Matilda is juxtaposed with the ideal by being compared to the figure of the Madonna. The Madonna is the ultimate symbol of female perfection: she represents purity, divinity, virginity and righteousness. In this passage, Ambrosio sexually objectifies both Matilda and the Madonna, in contrast to other scenarios where Matilda objectifies herself.

This instance allows readers to perceive Matilda as an innocent female figure being stereotypically objectified by a male body. Fonseca 8 Josephine is shown as the ideal through her socio-economic position. She is in an ideal position to become a domestic woman. At this point in the narrative, Josephine is seeking a heteronormative domestic life, indicating that she possesses the potential to be ideal.

Despite the potential to become idealized feminine bodies, both characters transgress in ways that overthrow female stereotypes, making room for an alternate feminine identity. Her transgression can be read through religion and gender, but her largest transgression seems to be seducing a man of God, both sexually and religiously. By vacillating between exhibiting feminine and masculine traits, Matilda exhibits the idea of gender exchangeability.

Instead he succumbs to the power of Lucifer, who is analogous with Matilda. Josephine is also able to create an alternate space for women through her character. Sinclair, the pious and eloquent rector of St. Like Matilda, Josephine also enacts religious transgression in addition to gender transgression.

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This passage is a clear violation of social norms in that Josephine objectifies Doctor Sinclair with her sexual desire, and he mutually objectifies her. The passage becomes more transgressive when considering that Josephine is disguised as a male, tricking the Rector into thinking he feels homoerotic desire.

Even Josephine is shocked; though she previously admired Doctor Sinclair, she did not think she would ever be able to obtain him due to his position.

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The shock exhibited by the characters allows readers to become arbitrators of meaning, deciding what is appropriate in this situation and what reaction should be given to it. The imbalance of power becomes critiqued through the undermining of male power and emasculation of the strong or dominant male figure. Through Matilda and Josephine, both narratives overthrow domestic, idealized stereotypes and create an alternate, dominant space for women. These actions can also be connected to a larger, political critique that the characters represent. Female transgression in the Gothic narrative also critiques society on a social, non- gendered level.

The Monk and City Crimes exemplify ills of the church in eighteenth century England and nineteenth century America, respectively.


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In this way, anger is displaced on the church and feminine sexuality. Licentiousness, lust and villainy become a safe way to critique the government and church: one can safely critique another individual, but critiquing a large agency can sometimes be controversial. In these narratives, transgressive female bodies become the vehicle through which social and political concerns are expressed. The political critique within the narrative extends to female positions in society and fear of female sexuality.

The male terror of the gaze emphasizes the fear of female sexuality and dominance. Emasculation becomes another expression of fear of female dominance. This space becomes an alternate space. It is still frowned upon and deemed unacceptable by society at the time, but it is something outside of the norm. Critical analysis proves that transgressive female bodies serve a function outside of simply being sexual objects and temptresses.

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By unsettling the social order, the transgressive feminine bodies allow authors to question what is proper and critique political order in reality. Considering critical texts also reveals that through their transgression, Matilda and Josephine create an alternate space for the feminine body.

This allows women to develop a true identity in literature, overthrowing sentimental, idealized, domestic stereotypes. While the alternate space is not always good, it is an option that offers women agency. By gaining agency, women can begin to aspire to be who they truly are. Fonseca 12 Works Cited Fincher, Max. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, Lewis, Matthew.

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The Monk. Mentioned in? References in periodicals archive? A principal uso da teoria queer em queering as categorias de genero e sexualidade demonstra a possibilidade e a capacidade dela de confrontar outras categorias de identidades, tais como gerente, trabalhador e empreendedor Lee et al. The sixteen contributions that make up the main body of the text are organized in four parts focused on new interpretations of the historical queer rural experience in America, the intersection of race and class in queer rural narratives, rural queer life in circulation and transition, and bodies of evidence in queering rural America.

Yes, now might be the perfect time indeed--a kairotic moment after all--to talk about queering the writing program, to marry queer, at long last, with administration. Queering the writing program: Why now? And other contentious questions. A dimensao queer no campo e no processo de pesquisa e discutida por Michael Connors Jackman, da York University, em "The trouble with fieldwork: queering methodologies".

Out of the closet and into the classroom: Queer Gothic. By contrast, looking at the situation of gay and lesbian people in contemporary Botswana teaches us that queering exercises are not only pursued from the comfort of one's [Northern] university desk or armchair: In Southern Africa, ' queering the heterosexist paradigm is done at the potential cost of health and life' p.