Stretched Out on Her Grave: Pathological Attitudes Toward Death in British Fiction 1788-1909

Use of this dissertation is restricted to the UNT Community. Off-campus users must log in to read.

Description

Nineteenth-century British fiction is often dismissed as necrophillic or obsessed with death. While the label of necrophilia is an apt description of the fetishistic representations of dead women prevalent at the end of the century, it is too narrow to fit literature produced earlier in the century. This is not to say that abnormal attitudes toward death are only a feature of the late nineteenth century. In fact, pathological attitudes toward death abound in the literature, but the relationship between the deceased and the survivor is not always sexual in nature. Rather, there is a clear shift in attitudes, from ... continued below

Creation Information

Angel-Cann, Lauryn August 2003.

Context

This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 102 times . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this dissertation or its content.

Chair

Committee Members

Publisher

Rights Holder

For guidance see Citations, Rights, Re-Use.

  • Angel-Cann, Lauryn

Provided By

UNT Libraries

With locations on the Denton campus of the University of North Texas and one in Dallas, UNT Libraries serves the school and the community by providing access to physical and online collections; The Portal to Texas History and UNT Digital Libraries; academic research, and much, much more.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this dissertation. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Degree Information

Description

Nineteenth-century British fiction is often dismissed as necrophillic or obsessed with death. While the label of necrophilia is an apt description of the fetishistic representations of dead women prevalent at the end of the century, it is too narrow to fit literature produced earlier in the century. This is not to say that abnormal attitudes toward death are only a feature of the late nineteenth century. In fact, pathological attitudes toward death abound in the literature, but the relationship between the deceased and the survivor is not always sexual in nature. Rather, there is a clear shift in attitudes, from the chaste death fantasy, or attraction to the idea of death, prevalent in Gothic works, to the destructive, stagnant mourning visible in mid-century texts, and culminating in the perverse sexualization of dead women at the turn of the century. This literary shift is most likely attributable to the concurrent changes in attitudes toward sex and death. As sex became more acceptable, more public, via the channels of scientific discourse, death became a less acceptable idea. This “denial of death” is a direct reaction to the religious uncertainties brought about by industrialization. As scientists and industrialists uncovered increasing evidence against a literal interpretation of the Bible, more people began to doubt the nature of God and the existence of an afterlife. If there was no God, then there was no heaven, which raised questions about what happened to the soul after death. With the certainty of an afterlife gone, death became mysterious, something to fear, and the passing of loved ones was doubly-mourned as their fate was now uncertain.

Language

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this dissertation in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This dissertation is part of the following collection of related materials.

UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

What responsibilities do I have when using this dissertation?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this dissertation.

Creation Date

  • August 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:54 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • March 3, 2008, 1:11 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this dissertation last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 102

Interact With This Dissertation

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Angel-Cann, Lauryn. Stretched Out on Her Grave: Pathological Attitudes Toward Death in British Fiction 1788-1909, dissertation, August 2003; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4271/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .