A couple of years ago I took a gothic novel class. It was really fun, because you could tell it was a class the professor cared about and truly enjoyed. Because of this, the students were able to enjoy it as well. Our final project was to take at least two characters from at least two different novels we had read and make them interact. I wrote a short scene with a bunch of the women in the books.
In gothic literature, women are most often put into one of two categories; the angelic woman or the demonic woman. The angelic woman is innocent, dull, and needs men to think for her. She is easily victimized and if she does not meet ruin it is because of a man saving her.
The demonic woman does not submit to men. She is overbearing, often set on world domination and prone to violence. She is the reason that women must be tamed and cannot be trusted. She is often used as a case for denying women education.
The one exception to this rule is Mina Harper, from Dracula. She is smart and capable of reason and logical thought, but uses her knowledge to help her husband, so is neither the demonic or angelic archetype.
I thought it would be interesting to put a bunch of these very different women together at a woman’s lib meeting and see what happened. This is the result. Read the rest of this entry