Various Forms of Entrapment in Victorian Literature Paper
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Various Forms of Entrapment in Victorian Literature Paper
Various, Forms, Entrapment, Victorian, Literature, Paper
Discuss in minimum 5 paragraphs for each five subjects, discuss the theme, style and forms of entrapment in the works of the following (5) authors? Professionally written in strict MLA format, college level content, plagiarism sensitive, following the instructions.
There are three types of entrapment in Victorian Literature, Physical, Mental & Existential? (study.com)
In one document discuss the following 5 questions in a minimum of 5 paragraphs per questing regarding Entrapment in the listed works and/or author(s) in Victorian Literature?
- The social and gender entrapment of both the male and female characters in Oscar Wilde’s, The importance of being Earnest, as descriptive of being socially imprisoned and dis-empowered? Name and status for females and the use of alias by the male characters, one for the country and another for
2 Charlotte .Bronte’s, Jane Eyre,( entrapment in Gothic literature)
- Dickens, Hard Times,( social inequality?)
- Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, social inequality, social entrapment of women in Victorian society, class distinctions and differences as to how they impacted the lives of the characters, such as Heathcliff? Structural boundaries for male and female characters within the narrative?
5 George Eliot Aka Marian Evans, why she and other “free thinking intellectuals” Female authors were forced to publish under masculine Pseudonyms?
NOTES: FOUND online, may be useful??? OPTIONAL
Consider the significance of forms of entrapment in Gothic literature.
A notable theme within Gothic literature is that of entrapment, be it of characters, setting or the narrative itself. This entrapment can take many forms and can have varying significance within individual texts.
Within Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’, entrapment is both physical and metaphorical, where boundaries and limitations are transgressed and characters are imprisoned within their emotions. Similarly, in Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Doctor Faustus’, the protagonist appears trapped within the consequences of his own actions, yet he is also entrapped by supernatural forces.
In contrast, in ‘The Bloody Chamber’, Angela Carter does not only use a sense of entrapment to build characterisation, but also in the very construction of the narration itself for the purpose of immersing the reader within it.
In Emily Bronte’s novel ‘Wuthering Heights’, entrapment can be seen to be a clear theme within the narrative. It can be noted that within the novel Bronte constantly focuses upon physicals boundaries such as locks, keys, gates, fences, doors and walls.
There are numerous instances of characters being trapped or barred by these physical limitations, including Lockwood being left in the cold by the Heights ‘infernal inmates’; his attempt to bar Catherine’s ghost from his room and when Nelly is imprisoned at the Heights by Heathcliff.
The purpose of these barriers may be seen to be as Bronte’s intention to separate binary opposites: culture and nature; human and supernatural. However, all of these enclosure are eventually violated. Therefore, it may reflect the Gothic aspect of transgression within the novel since the crossing of boundaries may be seen as Bronte not only questioning the limitations of Victorian society, but as that of human knowledge.
Indeed, Bronte’s use of entrapment is metaphorical as well as physical. Many of the characters appear trapped within the novel due to marriages and emotions limiting their true ambitions. Most significantly of all though is Catherine Earnshaw, who aspires to possess a connection to both nature and culture.
In marrying Edgar Linton she becomes ‘an exile, and outcast’ and is ‘weary to escape into that glorious world…not…yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart’. Bronte’s use of metaphor here can be clearly seen as suggesting how Catherine feels imprisoned within a world that she does not consider her own and is thus longing to escape.
This sense of entrapment is due to Bronte’s creation of a strong association between Catherine and nature, since it was her ‘chief amusement to run away to the moors in the morning and remain there all day’. This clearly portrays her as being almost a part of nature since that is where she feels happiest.
This is why she feels entrapped within the culture of Thrush cross Grange, which can be seen as symbolic of the patriarchal expectations of society. In fact, within Victoria art and literature there was held the commonly held view that women are associated with nature and men with culture.
Therefore, it may be seen that she is never able to truly achieve her goal of a unification between the two due to her femininity and connection to nature making her incompatible within the masculine world of culture, and is thus imprisoned within an almost purgatory between the two.
Furthermore, it may be seen that this image of femininity being entrapped within masculinity may be seen as being reflected in the very nature of the narrative. The majority of the narrative is told by Nelly, yet it may be seen that this is an internal voice within the external masculine narrative of Lockwood thus suggesting that a female voice requires the legitimisation of a male’s.
In fact, this can be seen as Bronte commenting upon the misogynistic nature of the publishing of literature at the time where she herself had to use a male pseudonym, Ellis Bell, to be able to legitimise her novel. Similarly, Angela Carter uses entrapment within ‘The Bloody Chamber’ as both a form of characterisation and as a narrative technique.
In the tale of ‘The Lady of the House of Love’, the Countess appears imprisoned by her ‘ancestral crimes’ which condemn her to a ritualised and repetitive immortality, to the extent that she herself is a ‘haunted house’. Carter’s use of imagery here to describe the Countess can be seen as mirroring the ‘ruinous’ state of her abode, which appears to fulfil the ‘Gothic eternity of vampire legends’ due to its traditionally Gothic labyrinth-like setting: ‘Worm-eaten beams, cobwebs…endless corridors…winding stair cases’.
Therefore it may be seen that Carter uses the theme of entrapment to develop the characterisation of supernatural creatures and to form a traditionally Gothic setting. However, it may be argued that Carter’s use of entrapment is contradictory to the typically conventions of Gothic literature.
This is because her portrayal of the supernatural vampire does not promote a sense of horror but rather that of pity since her constant emotion is that of ‘sadness’. This is due to the Countess ‘unwillingness for the role’ of Gothic villain, suggesting that her actions are beyond her control and she is equally the victim and much as the villain of the tale.
Indeed, this presentation of a seemly innocent female character may be seen as adhering to Carter’s feminist perspective due to the fact that the girl is forced to behave horrifically as a result of the influence of her masculine ancestor’s thus potentially criticising the ways in which women are controlled by paternal figures.
Whereas, Bronte uses entrapment as a structural technique to engage the reader within the narrative. Bronte’s use of narrative voice within the tale is not constant, nor is the structure of events liner. Instead the edges of space and time become blurred as the ‘wood swallows you up’.
The narrative voice shits from the distant third person to a direct address in the second person then to an immersive first person narrative from the view of the female protagonist. Throughout this shifting narrative voice Carter also moves between past, present and future tenses.
The effect that this creates is that of imprisoning the reader within the narrative and within the disorienting woods. However, this appears at odds with the fact that within the woods ‘all is as it seems’. Although, it may be seen that this is intended to suggest that events of the tale are not a supernatural illusion but are in fact an allegorical reflection of the natural processes of the passing of the seasons.
Clearly, entrapment holds a strong significance within Gothic literature due to the numerous ways in which it appears within characterization, setting and narrative construction. The reasons for this significance may be seen to as a result of the Gothic element of transgressing beyond conventional limitations. Since logically there must be a need for entrapment and imprisonment if there is to any form of questioning of what constitutes these boundaries and why they exist.