Define The Vampire As The Ultimate Transgression English Literature Essay
Gothic literature is characteristically concerned with evildoing. Donna Heiland writes: ‘Gothic fiction at its nucleus is about evildoings of all kinds: across national boundaries, societal boundaries, sexual boundaries, the boundaries of one ‘s ain individuality. ‘[ 1 ]Given the nature of the lamia myth, which is derived from folklore and spans across civilizations, the lamia figure easy lends itself to Gothic literature as the symbolic representation of these evildoings at a clip when civilization was preoccupied with decease and the supernatural, but at the same clip threatened by the foreigner or the ‘other. ‘ This essay will find the ways in which three texts offer strong symbols of evildoing in signifier of the lamia. These texts include Frederick Cowles ‘ The Vampire of Klandenstein[ 2 ], J Sheridan Le Fanu ‘s Carmilla[ 3 ]and likely the most celebrated lamia text- Bram Stoker ‘s Dracula.
Frederick Cowles ‘ vampiric figure in The Vampire of Kaldenstein surely embodies this evildoing of the cosmopolitan Torahs of nature, as even the storyteller suggests that Lord Kaldenstein, ‘by all natural Torahs should hold been dead long ago ‘ ( 423 ) . This crossing of boundaries is farther established as a evildoing with the statement that he has ‘by evil humanistic disciplines conquered decease ‘ ( 422 ) , doing the evildoing non merely one of life and decease, but in making so has besides crossed the line between good and evil.
Not merely does the lamia as a figure cross this boundary of life and decease, but it besides blurs the line between the two. Harmonizing to Summers, the lamia is ‘neither alive nor dead but populating in decease, ‘[ 5 ]possibly proposing that these boundary lines may be easy transgressed, in bend decreasing our ability to pull orderly boundaries between what is natural and unnatural, what is the ego and what is ‘other ‘ .
It could be argued that this evildoing is a metaphor for the fright of foreign invasion and the sensed menace of a reversal of British colonization. The count in Dracula
Stephen Arata discusses how ‘Stoker aˆ¦ transforms the stuffs of the lamia myth, doing them bear the weight of the civilization ‘s frights over its worsening position. The visual aspect of lamias becomes the mark of profound problem ‘ and ‘vampirism [ Markss ] the intersection of racial discord, political, upheaval, and the autumn of imperium ‘[ 6 ]. This is surely apparent in Dracula, as the Count infects the English lineage both literally and metaphorically when he threatens the really being of Victorian England. Bram Stoker constructs the lamia as an incarnation of menace by conveying the Gothic place to Victorian England, traversing the boundary between what is foreign and what is national, East and West. Malchow discusses this peculiar fright in relation to the context of the fright of racial hybridity, stating that the lamia has the ‘powerful suggestion of an explicitly racial obsession- that of the half strain. The lamia and the half strain are animals who transgress boundaries and are caught between two universes. Both are concealed threats- disguised presences conveying pollution of the blood. Both may be able to ‘pass ‘ among the unsuspecting. ‘[ 7 ]
Similarly, J Sheridan Le Fanu ‘s novelette Carmilla[ 8 ], written in 1872, depicts Carmilla ‘ s rebellion from the dead. Coupled with her ‘indeterminately foreign ‘ line of descent, this could be seen to mirror English fright of a native resurgence or the rebellion of the indigen. Laura ‘s male parent is led to ‘permit her to stay as our invitee ‘ ( 19 ) in the household place, hence widening an invitation to Carmilla. This reflects Judith Halberstam ‘s position of the lamia as a monster which threatens the domestic place, proposing that the lamia:
‘aˆ¦ will happen you in the familiarity of your ain place ; so, it will do your place its place ( or you its place ) and alter everlastingly the comfort of domestic privateness. The monster peeps through the window, enters through the back door, and sits beside you in the parlour ; the monster is ever invited in but ne’er asked to remain. ‘
Le Fanu ‘s representation of boundary crossing is peculiarly strong, as the Gothic is brought in to the place, interrupting the supernatural ideal environing the lamia. By traversing this boundary into the place this threatens English domesticity. The lamia quarry upon the unstable individuality formation of English businessperson dependents and corrupts the rigorous gender and sexual codifications regulating their places. By traversing boundaries, the lamia challenges the stableness of the traditional household and, as a effect, puts at hazard England ‘s hereafter.
The lamia is besides strongly linked with gender. Punter and Glennis Byron suggest that the lamia, which is ‘well adapted to deviant gender ‘[ 9 ], maps to ‘police the boundaries between ‘normal ‘ and ‘deviant ‘ gender. ‘[ 10 ]J Sheridan Le Fanu ‘ s representation of the female lamia in Carmilla was the first of its sort, and represented the female same sex relationship. Both the autocrat and victim within his novelette are of the female sex, which subverts the common female victim ; male tyrant stereotype. This therefore represented turning concerns over the turning independency of adult females within the development of the adult females ‘s motion.
The lamia figure within Carmilla besides embodies features of homosexual desire. Botting claims ‘Carmilla ‘s unnatural desires are signalled by her pick of females as her victims ‘ , nevertheless this homosexual desire is further emphasised when Laura narrates how, in her company, Carmilla is ‘gazing in my face with languid and firing eyes, and take a breathing so difficult that her frock rose and fell with the disruptive respiration. It was like the ardor of a lover… her hot lips travelled along my cheek in busss ‘ ( 34 ) . This unfastened show of aberrant gender transcends the boundary of socially acceptable norms.
Stoker ‘s adult females besides invert the conventional adult female, his vampiric adult females exerting active female gender, the really visual aspect of the three lamia sisters is coded to picture strong gender. They are juicy and vigorous in their sexual attack. Jonathon Harker says he felt ‘some yearning and at the same clip some lifelessly fear. I felt in my bosom a wicked combustion desire that they would snog me with those ruddy lips ‘ ( 37 ) . This representation of the female lamia follows the same conventions which Brian Frost describes as ‘like her male counter-part, a stock type. Possessing an un-earthly beauty and seeping sex-appeal she is the ether of glamor. However [ this ] is a misrepresentation, dissembling the evil of her true nature. ‘ Le Fanu ‘s lamia is besides regarded with a unsafe beauty, which is extenuated by the fact that Laura felt “ drawn towards her ” but there was besides something of repulsive force. ( 28 ) Carmilla is an aeriform animal, but she is besides a sexual marauder and a slayer. This subverts conventional Victorian gender codifications, which constrained the mobility of sexual desire by harmonizing to the active male the right of vigorous sexual appetency. Within both Dracula and Carmilla the adult females are granted, through the lamia, the reversal of these functions.
‘my strange and beautiful comrade would take my manus and keep it with a fond force per unit area, renewed once more and once more ; crimsoning quietly, staring in my face with languid and firing eyes, ; and she would whisper, about in shortness of breath, “ you are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one forever. ” ‘[ 11 ]
The extremely sexual lamia figure, unrestricted by natural Torahs, becomes the incarnation of sexual evildoing, for issues repressed and feared by Victorian society. Vampires are inherently Freudian ; they embody the return of the repressed on many degrees. The lamia has besides been peculiarly rich in researching unconventional sexual desire. This sexual evildoing is apparent in marauding gender within Carmilla. the same sex relationship between Carmilla and Lauraaˆ¦Stoker ‘s Dracula sexual power was so compelling that lamia fiction has enjoyed an particularly lively twentieth-century popularity.
This therefore leads to the crossing of boundary lines between the individuality of the ego and the ‘other. ‘ Carmilla ‘s perennial articulation of her desire for Laura in footings of personal integrating by stating ‘I unrecorded in you ‘ , and that Laura will ‘die into ‘ Carmilla herself collapses the boundaries of these two distinguishable classs. Carmilla and her victim ‘are one ‘ , destructing the differentiation between the ego and the other. This could be explained in footings of Freud ‘s id conflict- the lamia itself represents the Idaho, the unconscious human head. The Idaho is said to ‘dominate the unconscious portion of the personality, with a crude neglect for societal regulations in chase of ego gratificationaˆ¦ driven by the pleasance rule. ‘ The Idaho dominates the self-importance and the ace self-importance, which act to ‘suppress and modulate the demands of the Idaho in footings of societal demands ‘ this can be seen in the lamia ‘s arrested development to an animate being like province. We can surely see this in footings of predatory gender. Carmilla pacing up and down as cat caged
This prostration of boundaries between ego and other
‘But to decease as lovers may – to decease together, so that they may populate together. ‘
‘I experienced a unusual disruptive exhilaration that was enjoyable, of all time and anon, mingled with a obscure sense of fright and disgust. ‘
Not merely do the lamias within these texts embody evildoing, but they besides Function as a accelerator for the evildoing of others, promoting the release of represses desires
Laura ‘s susceptibleness to Carmilla ‘s appeals is eventually interrupted by the reaffirmation of male order and significance and sexual distinction.
Then looking towards the staking of Lucy, this transition connotates a deep sexual significance. This scene occurs near the terminal of the book, proposing that killing Lucy, therefore penalizing her for being sexually frontward, will reconstruct Victorian order
Significantly doing usage of out subjects and elements that are frowned upon or maintain repressed by mainstream civilization.
Carmilla- female lamia male frights of the sexual adult female. Reflects the respectable Victorian gentleman ‘s anxiousnesss about aggressive, unchecked female gender.
Vampire myth represents unconscious sexual desires within worlds as a resultof personality self-importance struggle. – cara flanagan
The transgressive and alternate of geaneology of organic structure fluids in Gothic literature suggestd an option to patriarchal household formations.
This thesis examines domestic control, struggle, and declaration in Le Fanu ‘s “ Carmilla ”
( 1872 ) and Stoker ‘s Dracula ( 1897 ) . In these texts, the lamia is a “ unusual ” parent who threatens English domesticity.
Female Romantic Friendships
Female writers were no less interested in the deductions of same-sex love, and if they are non ever every bit devoted to the force of sexual craze — though in some instances they are, they frequently create female “ romantic ” friendly relationships that are so converting that their titillating deductions are mostly ignored.
The emotional strength of these bonds has an erotics all their ain, and when in lamia narratives, such as Sheridan Le Fanu ‘s Carmilla ( 1872 ) they are realized as the titillating complement to the male-male titillating competition that animates so much Gothic fiction.
They are both Oedipal and incestuous. They are narcissistically individualistic. They literally feed off others, ever taking with no duty to give.
Unrestrained by the demand to reproduce in order to perpetuate themselves/their household, they have different generative motives – by and large these are sexual, and they reveal an interesting moral force of sexual power relationships: the sexual spouse is created – given ‘birth ‘ – by the 1 who desires her/him. The sexual partner/child is created to carry through specific sexual and/or egotistic desires.
In Eastern European folklore, lamias are no more than animate cadavers, unsatiably hungry for the life they no longer have. They are scaring but besides hapless, murderous but stupid. As the thought made its manner West, though, the figure of the lamia began to alter, to switch to run into different cultural demands. It went through the algorithm of Byronism, and what emerged from the other side was Count Dracula. The lamia becomes seductive, a symbol for all kinds of things repressed and feared by Victorian society: societal turbulence, racial tenseness. Vampires are inherently Freudian ; they embody the return of the repressed on as many degrees as one cares to number. The most powerful in Dracula itself is adult females ‘s gender — therefore the weight of horror behind the transmutation of Lucy Westenra from ingenue to actual femme fatale.
It is surely just to reason that the lamia does so move as the ‘ultimate symbol of evildoing ‘ , by its really nature incarnating an array of evildoings from cosmopolitan Torahs, sexual evildoings, traversing boorders and besides aˆ¦ Both vampire texts portray these elements of evildoings. These vampiric figures stand foring evildoing hence mark the dangers of traversing symbolic boundaries and name for their Restoration. Dracula, for case stopping points with the birth of a boy to the Harkers. Normal household, patriarchal order, antithtesis to vampiric evildoing.