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The Evil of Victoria in Zofloya - Essay Example

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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date The Evil of Victoria in Zofloya Introduction In an article in a periodical contemporary with the writing of the novel Zofloya it was written that “there is a voluptuousness of language and allusion, pervading these volumes, which we should have hoped, that the delicacy of the female pen would have refused to trace” (Dacre and Craciun 10)…
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The Evil of Victoria in Zofloya
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Download file to see previous pages The society in which the work was created had very clear cut ideas of the way in which the female character was explored, but the book Zofloya challenged much of these preconceived ideas, even though it was a classic gothic terror novel. The character of Victoria is the primary example of how this novel challenged the patriarchal society and explored the female character in ways that were unusual for the time. While the book used many of the elements that would signal the gothic romance, the explicit sexuality of Victoria was one way in which Dacre was exploring the female through more than a superficial understanding of the female experience. Although framed within supernatural influences, the psychology of the characters is as important as their influences, Victoria representing sociopathic type as she is spoiled which turns to experiences that are driven without the tempering of empathy. As well, the female character in the gothic romance is often elegant and tragic, but for Dacre the female is a complexity of experiences, which often include murderous intent and sexuality that is connected to violence. The character of Victoria is a complexity of psychological formation which includes her sociopathic tendencies towards getting what she thinks is her desire in all things. Through giving into the many temptations that come her way, Victoria displays her evil which is affirmed at the end when Satan shows himself and all of those things that he had laid before her to allow her to choose evil. The Gothic Female In understanding the motivations and catalysts for the behaviors that Victoria displays, one can first look at the state of the mother in the gothic romance novel. Anolik discusses the absence of the mother in gothic writing in regard to one of the central catalysts to the ill fates that many of the female lead categories experience. Most often, the mother is dead; her absence part of the tragic elements of the female leads her to a life in which she must shoulder the burden that the empty space leaves. In other stories, she is left vulnerable by the absence of her mother, raised under the hand of her father which is either a positive or negative experience, but through which she finds her strength. In Zofloya, the mother is not dead, but is deviant and evil, thus her survival is a part of the burden that Victoria must bear and her vulnerability can be focused on the abandonment as much as any of the other elements in the story (Beinstock 26). The absence of the mother is a tool of the narrative within the gothic novel. With a presence of a mother there is the potential for a moral overriding tone in which the actions of the female lead would be censored or criticized. Anolik states that there is a necessity of the mother’s absence for the “narratable deviance” to occur upon which the gothic plot is driven. In Zofloya, the mother is the primary cause of all that befalls her family, her act in running off creating the downward spiral that includes the prophetic quote of her father when he is killed. He states “on thy example with the life of thy daughter now be formed” (Anolik 28). The mother’s actions, as she is absent as a mother and returns only for evil intent, is the basis upon which the evil that Victoria commits is built. In the gothic narrative, the mother can only be present if she is evil, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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