Entrapment in Gothic literature

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L.O. . To understand the Gothic theme of entrapment, and to consider how and why Shelley uses this convention in ‘Frankenstein’. . CONNECTOR. IN PAIRS.... 1. Using your own word cloud, generate your own definition of . ID: 275536 Download Presentation

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Entrapment in Gothic literature




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Slide1

Entrapment in Gothic literature

L.O.

To understand the Gothic theme of entrapment, and to consider how and why Shelley uses this convention in ‘Frankenstein’.

Slide2

CONNECTOR

IN PAIRS...

1. Using your own word cloud, generate your own definition of

entrapment

.

2. Find 3 (or more) quotations from ‘Frankenstein’ which are relevant to this Gothic theme. Be ready to feedback!

Slide3

Entrapment - Article on handoutEntrapment, a favourite horror device of the Gothic, means to be confined or to be trapped in such a way that there is no way out. It is this sense of there being no escape that contributes to the claustrophobic psychology of Gothic space. The notion of claustrophobia is closely tied up with that of entrapment. Although it is most often regarded as a consequence of physical entrapment, it can also be more generally attributed to a character’s sense of helplessness, or a feeling that one is caught up in some sinister plan or destiny over which one has no control. There are essentially three types of entrapment: physical, mental, and existential. Physical entrapment would mean being physically trapped in some place. A recurring gothic device of physical entrapment is that of the protagonist trapped in a maze of some kind and trying to escape, but inevitably returning to the same spot again and again. An example of physical entrapment can be found in Stoker’s Dracula. When Harker is being driven to the castle of Dracula, he experiences a moment of being physically trapped in the nightmare landscape of the Transylvania, as is evident in his remark that “[it] seemed to me that we were simply going over and over the same ground again; and so I took note of some salient point, and found that this was so” (Stoker). Another example of such entrapment is found in Smith’s A Rendezvous in Averiogne. In this short story, the protagonist Gerard is trying in vain to escape from a forest; he returns, inevitably, to the same spot every time. Eventually, “[his] very will was benumbed, was crushed down as by the incumbence of a superior volition” (Smith). Mental entrapment, on the other hand, is about being confined to a certain state of mind. The gothic trope of madness, for example, is a form of mental entrapment. In a way, the insane are trapped in their own mental universe, into which no one else can penetrate. Renfield, in Dracula, is doubly entrapped; physically locked up in an asylum, he is also limited to the confines of his mental universe, doomed to be continually misunderstood by Seward, or simply dismissed as insane. Lastly, there is also existential entrapment, which takes the form of social entropy and ontological or epistemological entrapment. An example of existential entrapment can be found in Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Dr Jekyll feels trapped by societal notions of respectability, by a constant pressure of having to uphold his reputation as a gentleman in the eyes of the Victorian public. As a way of breaking out of this ‘prison’, Dr Jekyll invents the figure of Hyde. Hyde is therefore Jekyll’s liberator, for it is as Hyde that Dr Jekyll can truly express himself, unbound by considerations of maintaining his respectability. (Esther Leong, 2004)

INDIVIDUALLY READ THE ARTICLE WHICH EXPLAINS ENTRAPMENT IN TERMS OF THE GOTHIC.

B) INITIAL UNDERSTANDING?

C) IN NEW PAIRS, USE YOUR

DICTIONARY

TO FIND THE MEANINGS OF ANY VOCABULARY YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. HOW DOES THIS ADD TO YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE ARTICLE?

Slide4

INDIVIDUAL WORK

You will each be given an article extract, about the Shelley’s novel, which links ‘Frankenstein’ to the theme of entrapment.

You need to annotate your ideas around the extract:

How does this extract raise the theme of entrapment?

Why does Shelley raise this theme in this example? What is the effect?

Slide5

GROUP WORK

Now, when your extract is shown, get into groups

with those who had the same extract

.

A) compare annotations

B) note others ideas onto your own extract

C) prepare to present your ideas as a group

(“This extract depicts entrapment for this purpose...”)

Slide6

Not content to accept and enjoy the wonders of nature surrounding him , Frankenstein has allowed thirst for knowledge and understanding to develop into a self- destructive passion.

Article: ‘The English Review’, November 2000

A

PRESENTING YOUR IDEAS

Slide7

The icy wildness of the pole which Walton approaches as the novel opens can be seen as a powerful image of the psychological nature of him and Victor. As it is a physical wilderness —a place of threat, death and destruction —so it represents the mental wilderness within Frankenstein. Mental wilderness is shown to potentially consume Walton too,

if he does not heed the warning and continues his journey.

Walton, less advanced on the path towards destruction, is able to escape the psychological and moral entrapment signified by the ice floes. Frankenstein, however, faced with thepermanent need to confront and destroy the product of his own obsession, is left to drift away into the freezing seas at the extreme edge of human morality and psychology.

Article: ‘The English Review’, November 2000

B

PRESENTING YOUR IDEAS

Slide8

Frankenstein, fated by his own actions to

live a life haunted by extremity in the wilderness, remains

nonetheless keenly aware of the beauty of the natural world: ‘Even broken in spirit as he is’, Walton informs us, ‘no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth’.

Article: ‘The English Review’, November 2000

C

PRESENTING YOUR IDEAS

Slide9

Plan your home learning essay!

How is the Gothic theme of entrapment

portrayed in the three authors you

have studied?

Slide10

Home learning:a) the essay!B) revision, revision, revision!

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