ERIC Number: ED409583
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-13
Reference Count: N/A
From Milton to Morrison: The Gothic in "Beloved."
Roth, Wendy S.
Presumably the differences in multicultural texts are in part or entirely attributable to the race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and nationality of the writer. As college populations have changed to resemble more closely the writers of "multicultural" literature, instructors have become more interested in teaching literature written by minority or women writers. Although there is no recommended curriculum for the required series of literature and composition courses at the University of California, Berkeley, the English Department's most frequently taught texts are Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," Maxine Hong Kingston's "The Woman Warrior," Richard Rodriguez's "Hunger of Memory," and anything by Toni Morrison. Only by showing the discourses among authors of all identities can students learn how to build their own bridges. This building of bridges with texts between the marginal and the mainstream extends between the Gothic horror genre and the more mainstream literature; it is also important to the positioning of stories within the discourse of Gothic horror itself. Toni Morrison's "Beloved," for example, can be taught as a Gothic horror novel. Gothic horror, like any other genre, has its conventions--it invokes the tyranny of the past with such weight as to stifle the hopes of the present. By studying how different authors interact with genre conventions, composition students can better understand the conventions of the genre they are studying--that of the college essay--and see how they can both write within that genre and also use their understanding of those conventions to accommodate their own voices. (Includes 8 notes.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Beloved (Morrison); Composition Literature Relationship; Genre Approach; Gothic; Horror Fiction; University of California Berkeley
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (48th, Phoenix, AZ, March 12-15, 1997).