2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Subverting Masculinity in Victorian Gothic Literature
Sara E. Besserman
Dr. Paul Yoder, Faculty Mentor

In Victorian England, the concept of masculinity was an essential piece of the patriarchal society. Men were supposed to provide money and security for their wives, protect the homeland, and control the moral values of the time. However, several factors came about during the Victorian period that threatened the stability of masculine identity. Homosexuality, viewed by the Victorians as a form of moral degeneration, developed into a vibrant subculture. The New Woman challenged established gender roles and became a threat to the moral values of the family. Using Gothic works of the Victorian period, including Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and The Great God Pan, I will explore and analyze these subversions and challenges to the Victorian ideal of masculinity.

Keywords: Victorian, Gothic, masculinity, homosexuality, New Woman, moral degeneration

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 62-2
Location: VH 1232
Time: 3:00

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