Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

Blog 2

I think George Haggerty means when he states “normative… configurations of human interaction” is people formulate their own moral judgements. Every interaction is different as the person you are interacting with can show your judgement on that person. Their movement, gestures and features define configurations of human interaction if that makes sense. One instance in The Castle of Otranto is where Isabella runs away from the ravisher which is Manfred escaping in the secret underground passageway and finds her way to safety. It embodied cognitive approaches show how the scene’s location and the ambiguity of the characters’ surroundings and in terms of distinguishing friend from foe creates human interactions where Manfred does not trust anyone who goes against his values. Then Haggerty claims that Walpole “combines the sexual anxiety of a victimized female, the incestuous desire of a libidinous male, the use of the actual physical features of the castle to represent political and sexual entrapment, and an atmosphere deftly rendered to produce terror and gloom” One moment in The Castle of Otranto is , when Conrad (Manfred’s only son and heir) is dead Manfred approaches Isabella (Princess and was soon to be wife of Conrad) alone, proclaiming his intention to produce several sons with her. Despite her horrified protests, he grabs her, intending to rape her, but Isabella escapes. Isabella as she was horrified by the interaction of Manfred being hunted down for sexual desires. How I think physical features of a castle represent political and sexual entrapment is on the political side, castles could serve as a centre for local government, administration and justice. They are also used by powerful lords to display their wealth and power through lavish architectural styles and decoration. On the sexual entrapment side, castles have underground dungeons (a prison cell) being trapped with no one to hear someone’s plea. Guards can mostly have their way. Examples I can think of fiction or media that are hallmarks of gothic fiction right off the bat are Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and a recent movie not too long ago from the director Jordan Peele’s Get Out, if you can call it one (one of my personal favorite movies).

1 Comment

  1. Laura Westengard

    This is a great response, Justice. Get Out is one of my favorites too. What in that film do you think corresponds to the castle and/or the sexualized power dynamics that appear in Otranto?

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