Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Maneck Daruwala

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Amy Huseby

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Mark Kelley

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Disability, gender, queerness, norms, society, nineteenth century, gothic, literature, Frankenstein, Dorian Gray

Date of Defense



Within nineteenth century society, normalcy is presented through unfeasible means of appearance and identity, leading to a rejection of the self. By exploring characters in Victorian gothic literature, who are marginalized by society, and invoking the work of Gail Weiss, Kim Hall, and others, this essay investigates the way these norms are immortalized through published representations and how they expose the lingering presence of rejection of disabled, queer, and gender-fluid bodies. Through the analysis of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, I look at the contextualization of marginalized existence compared to able-bodiedness and normalized gender to argue that the impacts of nonnormative representation are prevalent in breaking these stereotypes. Through topics of historization, normalcy, disability aesthetics, gender, and sexuality, I find that normative realizations of appearance and identity are unattainable because they cannot be understood within the complexities that are born as constructs of society.





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