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ENGL403: The Gothic Novel

Unit 4: Gender and Sexuality   The field of Gothic studies is home to a number of feminist and queer theorists – and for good reason.  The novels that you have already read, and especially those that you will encounter in this unit, often overtly present psycho-sexual behavior, lust and seduction, and cross-dressing and gender confusion as central themes.  In this unit you will take a look at these issues, teasing them out and examining their relationship to other Gothic devices and themes.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 32.25 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 15.25 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 17 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Discuss terror and horror in Lewis’ The Monk in terms of contemporary cultural taboos. - Identify and discuss the Gothic conditions for the female characters in The Monk, Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and Brontë’s Jane Eyre. - Identify and explain examples of “queer” or deviant (for the time) sexuality in Gothic novels. - Compare the representation of Thornfield to that of the Gothic castles in earlier Gothic fiction. - Discuss the concept of the ideal woman versus the “new woman” in Victorian England.

4.1 The Monk   - Reading: Project Gutenberg: Matthew Lewis’ The Monk Link: Project Gutenberg: Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (HTML)

 Also available in:  
 [Google
Books](http://books.google.com/books?id=RvEOAAAAIAAJ&dq=THE+MONK+A+ROMANCE++by+MATTHEW+LEWIS&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=ifE0TMuPD4KClAeN-L3SBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false)  

 Instructions: Please read *The Monk* over the course of the unit. 
Read Volume I during subunits 4.1.1-4.1.2; read Volume II during
subunits 4.1.3-4.4.4; and read Volume III during subunits
4.1.5-4.4.6.  *The Monk* is among the most salacious of the Gothic
novels, featuring incidents of rape, incest, demonic pacts, and
otherwise transgressive sexuality – even (and perhaps most
shockingly) among clergymen and women.  

 Reading this text over the course of this unit should take
approximately 6 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Reading Questions: The Monk” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Reading Questions: The Monk (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and complete the linked assessment, which is designed to help you think through some of the major themes present in The Monk and the unit’s critical readings.  When you are done, check your work against The Saylor Foundation’s “Guide to Responding to Reading Questions on The Monk (PDF).

    Completing the assessment should take approximately 1 hour.

4.1.1 Disruption of Normative Gender Patterns in The Monk   - Reading: Romanticism on the Net: Max Fincher’s “The Gothic as Camp: Queer Aesthetics in The Monk” Link: Romanticism on the Net: Max Fincher’s “The Gothic as Camp: Queer Aesthetics in The Monk (HTML)

 Instructions: Please pay close attention to Fincher’s concept of
the deviant sexuality in his article on *The Monk*.  In particular,
please take note of his idea of gender classifications within the
novel, and in much of Gothic literature, as unstable.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.2 Matricide and Family Rupture   - Reading: University of Virginia: Kari Winter’s “Sexual/Textual Politics of Terror” Link: University of Virginia: Kari Winter’s “Sexual/Textual Politics of Terror” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read this excerpt, which discusses of the
treatment of women in *The Monk*.  

 Reading this excerpt should take less than 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.3 The Male Gothic versus the Female Gothic   - Reading: Romanticism on the Net: Lisa M. Wilson’s “‘Monk’ Lewis as Literary Lion” Link: Romanticism on the Net: Lisa M. Wilson’s “‘Monk’ Lewis as Literary Lion” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read Wilson’s critical essay, paying special
attention to her discussion of female stereotypes in the novel. 
Also notice Wilson’s application of these stereotypes to the Gothic
novel itself, as she discusses the historical perception of Gothic
fiction as a stereotypically feminine form.  

 Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 1
hour and 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.4 Titillation and Voyeurism   - Reading: Romanticism on the Net: Clara Tuite’s “Cloistered Closets: Enlightenment Pornography, The Confessional State, Homosexual Persecution and The Monk” and University of Pennsylvania: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Review of Matthew G. Lewis, The Monk” Link: Romanticism on the Net: Clara Tuite’s “Cloistered Closets: Enlightenment Pornography, The Confessional State, Homosexual Persecution and The Monk (HTML) and University of Pennsylvania: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Review of Matthew G. Lewis, The Monk (HTML)

 Instructions: Read Tuite’s “Cloistered Closets,” which discusses
eroticism, sexuality, and voyeurism in *The Monk*.  Also read
Coleridge’s review of *The* *Monk* for further discussion of the
voyeuristic aspects of the novel.  

 Studying these resources should take approximately 3 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

4.1.5 Treatment of Religion and Social Mores   - Reading: Romanticism on the Net: Sydny M. Conger’s “Confessors and Penitents in M. G. Lewis’ The Monk” and Ann Campbell’s “Satire in The Monk: Exposure and Reformation” Link: Romanticism on the Net: Sydny M. Conger’s “Confessors and Penitents in M. G. Lewis’ The Monk (HTML) and Ann Campbell’s “Satire in The Monk: Exposure and Reformation” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read Conger’s “Confessors and Penitents in M.
G. Lewis’ *The Monk,*” which discusses religious impulses in *The
Monk* and the novel’s historical context.  Also read Campbell’s
“Satire in *The Monk*” for another discussion of the novel as a text
intended to inspire political, religious, and social reformation.  

 Studying these resources should take approximately 1 hour and 15
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

4.1.6 Disguise and Cross-Dressing   - Reading: Romanticism on the Net: Jerrold E. Hogle’s “The Ghost of the Counterfeit – and the Closet – in The Monk” and Lauren Fitzgerald’s “The Sexuality of Authorship in The Monk” Link: Romanticism on the Net: Jerrold E. Hogle’s “The Ghost of the Counterfeit – and the Closet – in The Monk (HTML) and Lauren Fitzgerald’s “The Sexuality of Authorship in The Monk (HTML)

 Instructions: In Hogle’s “The Ghost of the Counterfeit – and the
Closet – in *The Monk*,” pay close attention to his discussion of
England’s class struggle, specifically among the middle-class.   In
Fitzgerald’s “The Sexuality of Authorship in *The Monk*,” consider
his idea of gender disguise.  

 Reading these articles should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

4.1.7 Virginity in Distress   - Reading: University of Virginia: “Virgins in Distress and Demons in Disguise: Constructing the Heroine’s Identity in the Female Gothic” Link: University of Virginia: “Virgins in Distress and Demons in Disguise: Constructing the Heroine’s Identity in the Female Gothic” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read this page for an introduction to the
“virgin in distress” theme in the Gothic novel.  In particular,
please pay attention to its overview of critical material that
relates to the distressed damsel idea in *The Monk*.  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.2 Jane Eyre   - Reading: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre Link: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (PDF)

 Also available in:  
 [Google
Books](http://books.google.com/books?id=qOs0AAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=jane+eyre&hl=en&ei=yPU0TNPjHYW8lQeUv-3SBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false)  

 Instructions: Please read *Jane Eyre*, which will be the focus of
this unit.  Because the text is quite long, please feel free to
split up the reading as follows: read Chapters 1-8 during subunit
4.2.1; read Chapters 9-17 during subunit 4.2.2; read Chapters 18-24
during subunit 4.2.3; read Chapters 25-33 during subunit 4.4.4; read
Chapters 33-38 during subunit 4.4.5.  

 *Jane Eyre* is a novel documenting a young woman’s coming-of-age
and romantic involvement with a brooding Byronic hero (Mr.
Rochester).  In it we see the Gothic – its places, incidents,
villains, and heroes – through the eyes of a woman.  

 Reading this novel over the course of this unit should take
approximately 12 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Reading Questions: Jane Eyre” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Reading Questions: Jane Eyre (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and complete the linked assessment, which is designed to help you think through some of the major themes present in Jane Eyre and this unit’s critical readings.  When you are finished, check your work against The Saylor Foundation’s “Reading Questions: Jane Eyre – Guide to Responding” (PDF).

    Completing this assessment should take approximately 45 minutes.

4.2.1 Struggle for Sexual/Political Rights   - Reading: The Victorian Web: Suzanne Hesse’s “The Victorian Ideal: Male Characters in Jane Eyre and Villette,” Dr. Andrzej Diniejko’s “The New Woman Fiction,” and Helena Wojtczak’s “Hastings and Women’s Suffrage” Links: The Victorian Web: Suzanne Hesse’s “The Victorian Ideal: Male Characters in Jane Eyre and Villette,” (PDF) Dr. Andrzej Diniejko’s “The New Woman Fiction,” (PDF) and Helena Wojtczak’s “Hastings and Women’s Suffrage” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read these pages, which are intended to provide you with an overview of Victorian debates about sexuality and political rights. Within each of the articles, you will find hyperlinks through which you may explore additional articles on the topic under discussion.
 
Terms of Use: These pages may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.  They are attributed to Suzanne Hesse, Dr. Andrzej Diniejko, and Helena Wojtczak and the original versions can be found here, here, and here.

4.2.2 The Absent Mother   This subunit is covered by the material in 4.2 and 4.2.1.

4.2.3 Female Paranoia and Madness: The Woman in the Attic   - Reading: University of Virginia: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and The Victorian Web: Joan Z. Anderson’s “Angry Angels: Repression, Containment, and Deviance, in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre” Link: University of Virginia: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” (PDF) and The Victorian Web: Joan Z. Anderson’s “Angry Angels: Repression, Containment, and Deviance, in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (HTML)

 Instructions: Read “The Yellow Wallpaper,” which is another version
of female madness.  As you read, note the treatment of madness and
paranoia as it relates to similar depictions in *Jane Eyre*.  In
Anderson’s “Angry Angels,” focus on the concept of female madness in
*Jane Eyre*.  

 Reading these resources should take approximately 1 hour and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

4.2.4 Genre Blending: Bildungsroman Meets Gothic Meets Romance   - Reading: Brooklyn College: Dr. Lilia Melani’s “The Romance and the Novel” and The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “Genre, Plot, and Theme in Jane Eyre” Link: Brooklyn College: Dr. Lilia Melani’s “The Romance and the Novel” (PDF) and The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “Genre, Plot, and Theme in Jane Eyre (HTML)

 Instructions: First, read Dr. Melani’s discussion of the overlap
between Gothic and Romance novels.  Then read Landow’s short essay
for a more detailed discussion of *Jane Eyre* as a “double
bildungsroman” that charts the heroine’s maturation.  

 Reading these articles should take less than 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.  “The Romance and the Novel” has
been reposted by the kind permission of Dr. Lilia Melani from
Brooklyn College and can be viewed in its original form
[here](http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/novel_19c/wuthering/romance.html). 
Please note that the material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder.

4.2.5 Thornfield (and Its Attic), Gothic Space, and Gender Relations   - Reading: University of Virginia: Nina da Vinci Nichols’ “Place and Eros in Radcliffe, Lewis, and Brontë” Link: University of Virginia: Nina da Vinci Nichols’ “Place and Eros in Radcliffe, Lewis, and Brontë” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the short excerpt from “Place and Eros in
Radcliffe, Lewis, and Brontë,” which is about the effect of Gothic
places on the lives of literary heroines.    

 Reading this article should take less than 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.