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Title: Devouring the Gothic: food and the Gothic body
Author(s): Andrews, Elizabeth
Supervisor(s): Byron, Glennis
Keywords: Gothic
Issue Date: Jan-2008
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: At the beginnings of the Gothic, in the eighteenth century, there was an anxiety or taboo surrounding consumption and appetite for the Gothic text itself and for the excessive and sensational themes that the Gothic discussed. The female body, becoming a commodity in society, was objectified within the texts and consumed by the villain (both metaphorically and literally) who represented the perils of gluttony and indulgence and the horrors of cannibalistic desire. The female was the object of consumption and thus was denied appetite and was depicted as starved and starving. This also communicated the taboo of female appetite, a taboo that persists and changes within the Gothic as the female assumes the status of subject and the power to devour; she moves from being ethereal to bestial in the nineteenth century. With her renewed hunger, she becomes the consumer, devouring the villain who would eat her alive. The two sections of this study discuss the extremes of appetite and the extremes of bodily representations: starvation and cannibalism.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
Literature and Languages

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