Hilton, Laura Jayne (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Restricted to Repository staff only until July 2030.
This thesis examines the role of the Gothic double as articulated within the contemporary graphic novel. Discussing representations, interpretations and subversions of the Gothic double, the analysis will apply a synthesised theoretical framework of the psychoanalytical double and literary double to five key works from three canonical creators: Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller and Alan Moore. The discussion will be divided into three sections in order to focus on three recurring motifs in the image-text hybrid of the contemporary graphic novel. Firstly, a discussion of superheroes, SF and the Gothic double aims to explore how works such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns combine innovative approaches to the superhero with direct reference to SF and the motif of the Gothic double. Section two offers a reading of how Neil Gaiman’s A Game of You subtly explores complex issues of gender and sexuality in relation to the Gothic double. Section three discusses the urban Gothic, exploring the dualistic presentation of the city in both From Hell and Sin City alongside an interpretation of how each text approaches the issue of prostitution. Throughout, the discussion will approach these graphic novels as literary works and will focus on the analysis of narrative elements including structure, characterisation and, of course, genre.
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