Date of Award

5-8-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Tanya Caldwell

Second Advisor

Malinda Snow

Third Advisor

Pearl McHaney

Abstract

The aesthetic principles of the Gothic lexicon were first legitimized by popular eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels such as The Monk and The Castle of Otranto. The male authors of these novels promote a fascination with the supernatural. As scholars studied this period in the history of the novel, two subgenres of the Gothic emerged: the masculine and feminine. This feminine subgenre includes Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding. Jane Austen, and later Eudora Welty, remediate the Gothic narrative tradition of eighteenth-century novelists. The goal of this new feminine subgenre is to satirize the masculine subgenre’s phantasmagoric means of presentation. Furthermore, the fundamental aesthetics of the Gothic were taken up by Jane Austen during first-wave feminism and Eudora Welty just before second-wave feminism. Each used the novel’s aesthetic relationship with the Gothic as a medium for expressing inherently feminist perspectives.

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