Supernatural Elements in kipling's 'The Mark on the Beast', Conan Doyle's 'Lot no 249' and Wells' 'The Truth About Peycraft': The Gothic Short Story as Voicing and Exorcising Late Victorian Crisis

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Abstract

The aim of the essay is the analysis of the supernatural elements in Kipling’s ‘The Mark on The Beast”, Conan Doyle’s “Lot no. 409”, Wells’ “The Truth about Peycraft” conceived of as the expression of the revitalisation of the Gothic imagery which, through the Short Story, serve to voice and exorcise late Victorian crisis, de-Constructing late Victorian identity. First, the complex nature of late Victorian Britain crisis will be deepened; second, the short story will be focused on as an independent genre from the novel which mostly epitomized Fin de Siècle literary fantastic discourse; finally, the short stories will be investigated as textual examples of what Brantlinger defines as Imperial Gothic, instrumental in voicing and exorcising the pressures of late Victorian crisis. The short stories focus on the fluidity of life, on unstable and permeable bodies and emotions and the events narrated are suspended between fiction and reality. The graphic portraits of liminal bodies serves to depict the antagonism between the rational and the irrational, the tension between the familiar and the mysterious, emerging from the incursion of extraordinary events into the everyday world. Not only marginalised people like natives, feminists, homosexuals and poor are potentially subjected to eccentric metamorphoses, but also an exuberant coloniser, a British boy student at Oxford and a plump London clubman. The white male middle-class hero, usually characterized by rationality, rigid gender boundaries and bravery, is banished giving place to threshold identities whose deterministic laws of nature and superiority of race are called into question by the fantasised Orient which, unconventionally, comes to foreground as an active, authoritative and powerful force.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)344-354
Numero di pagine11
RivistaJOURNAL OF LITERATURE AND ART STUDIES
Volume3
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013

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