Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Humanities

First Advisor

Charles Duncan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Georgene Bess-Montgomery, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Rico Chapman, Ph.D.

Abstract

From early eighteenth-century literature to contemporary Gothic literature, the existence of Gothic conventions is evident. These Gothic conventions include family secrets, ruins or isolated mansions, hidden passageways, and bad weather. During an era when women were viewed as inferior and were expected to conform to the domestic expectations of their male counterparts, some female writers took it upon themselves to use their writing as a way to voice and illustrate the conditions that women endured. A thorough examination of Gothic Trappings in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Hannah Crafts’ The Bondswoman’s Narrative shows representations of various spaces that essentially confined women resulting in their silence. When analyzing the position of women during the nineteenth-century and the spaces that they were confined to, it becomes evident that the genre of Gothic literature serves as a device to challenge the restrictions placed on women in patriarchal society.

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