Master of Arts (MA)
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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.
Pendola Biondi, Malena Sol, "A Non-Normative Paradigm: Disability and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Gothic Literature" (2022). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4987.
Cultural History Commons, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Commons, Literature in English, Anglophone outside British Isles and North America Commons, Literature in English, British Isles Commons, Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies Commons, Social History Commons
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