The problem of 'evil' in Elizabeth Gaskell's Gothic tales

Styler, Rebecca (2010) The problem of 'evil' in Elizabeth Gaskell's Gothic tales. Gothic Studies, 12 (1). pp. 33-50. ISSN 1362-7937

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Elizabeth Gaskell uses Gothic as a symbolic language to explore the dark side of Unitarian thought. She explores, in rationalist terms, evil's origins, effects and remedy, using Gothic tropes as metaphors for humanly created misery. Gaskell locates the roots of 'evil' in an unenlightened social order, and its remedy in self-sacrifical giving which reverses the effects of injustice. The article studies 'The Crooked Branch' and 'The Poor Clare', with some reference to 'Lois the Witch'. The social and familial construction of evil are addressed, as well as tensions between moral determinism and personal responsibility, and Gaskell's attitudes to salvation theology and aspects of Roman Catholicism.

Keywords:Elizabeth Gaskell, Gothic story, Unitarianism, Roman Catholicism, rationalism, nineteenth-century theology
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q322 English Literature by author
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V600 Theology and Religious studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:4279
Deposited On:21 Mar 2011 16:22

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