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Much has been written on the natures and personalities of teachers in educational research and publications (Carter, 2009; Beck, 2012; Bulman, 2015; Dalton, 2013; Gillard, 2012; Kelly & Caughlan, 2011). However, mass media can have a powerful influence on how people see teachers. The television series Breaking Bad (Gilligan, 2007-2013) and its representation of teachers, has contributed a unique – if warped -perspective on the subject of teachers and teaching in America. In this article, we argue that three important Gothic and mythic fables from literature are harbingers of Walter White and his transformation – the Faust legend, as told by Christopher Marlowe (1604), the tale of Victor Frankenstein and his monster, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1818) and Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous character, Mr. Edward Hyde (1886). We note that the comparisons, while apt, are imperfect, and we discuss the philosophical, social and literary implications of them.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published by Penn State University Press in

Mcgrail, J. Patrick, Ewa Mcgrail, and Alicja Rieger. 2018. “A Teacher Goes Gothic: Walter White, Heisenberg, and the Dark Revenge of Science.” Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 20 (4): 486–506.