Guilt, Greed and Remorse: Manifestations of the Anglo-Irish Other in J. S. Le Fanu’s “Madame Crowl’s Ghost” and “Green Tea”

  • Richard Jorge Fernández Universidad Europea del Atlántico

Abstract

Monsters and the idea of monstrosity are central tenets of Gothic fiction. Such figures as vampires and werewolves have been extensively used to represent the menacing Other in an overtly physical way, identifying the colonial Other as the main threat to civilised British society. However, this physically threatening monster evolved, in later manifestations of the genre, into a more psychological, mind-threatening being and, thus, werewolves were left behind in exchange for psychological fear. In Ireland, however, this change implied a further step. Traditional ethnographic divisions have tended towards the dichotomy Anglo-Irish coloniser versus Catholic colonised, and early examples of Irish Gothic fiction displayed the latter as the monstrous Other. However, the nineteenth century witnessed a move forward in the development of the genre in Ireland. This article shows how the change from physical to psychological threat implies a transformation or, rather, a displacement—the monstrous Other ceases to be Catholic to instead become an Anglo-Irish manifestation. To do so, this study considers the later short fictions of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and analyses how theDublin-born writer conveys his postcolonial concerns over his own class by depicting them simultaneously as the causers of and sufferers from their own colonial misdeeds.

Author Biography

Richard Jorge Fernández, Universidad Europea del Atlántico
Richard Jorge Fernández received his BA in English Studies from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and later on enhanced his knowledge of literature with an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin. He completed a PhD on the relationship between the short story and the Irish Gothic tradition at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

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Published
2020-12-23
Section
Articles