“We shall be monsters, cut off from all the world”: Gothic Dynamics of Family and Monstrosity in the 18th and 19th Centuries (Thesis)

Holly Roumeliotis, Fall 2018

Director: Orianne Smith

Committee Members: Michele Osherow and Jean Fernandez

The aim of this study is to account for the formation and development of a Gothic narratology that was constructed through the interplay of family life and monstrosity. I argue that writers during the 18th and 19th Centuries deliberately organized plotlines around this relationship dynamic because it helped create a flexible and versatile narrative with the potential to engage with a wide range of cultural concerns, including class, gender, politics, and spirituality. This thesis traces the development of the Gothic narrative from its early origins in Milton’s Paradise Lost to the novels of the Bronte sisters.