The Colonial Idol, the Animalistic, and the New Woman in the Imperial Gothic of Richard Marsh

Bhattacharjee, Shuhita (2020) The Colonial Idol, the Animalistic, and the New Woman in the Imperial Gothic of Richard Marsh. In: Gothic Animals. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 241-256. ISBN 978-3-030-34539-6

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This chapter examines Richard Marsh’s treatment of the animalistic in his Imperial Gothic works, The Beetle: A Mystery (1897), The Goddess: A Demon (1900), and The Joss: A Reversion (1901). I show how, in each of these novels, the appearance of a colonial idol on the British landscape sets up a transgressive space between the colonial and the animalistic, and then connects it to the figure of the gender-subversive Victorian New Woman. Threading together these socially marginalised figures of the racial-, gender-, and animalistic-other, the novels strategically provide for an implicit questioning of the sociopolitical hierarchies of race, gender, and sexuality. I demonstrate how it is in the overlap of the fears of the colonial animal and the fears surrounding the woman, more specifically the iconically rebellious New Woman, that the threat of the animal becomes most intense, viscerally challenging the hierarchies of white middle-class patriarchy often through a near-erotic proximity of the New Woman and the colonial animal.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Bhattacharjee, Shuhita
Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: British, Victorian New Woman, race, gender, and sexuality.
Subjects: Arts > Liberal arts
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: . LibTrainee 2021
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2022 07:33
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2022 07:33
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