Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

Blog 2…

– What I think Haggerty means by normative…configurations of human interactions is what we as humans are accustomed to. Things that the average person would consider as normal. Heteronormative is basically relating to a world view of heterosexuality being the normal or preferred sexual orientation. One way in which these configurations are challenged in Otranto is Manfred, who was married to Hippolita, with whom he had two children Conrad and Matilda. After the death of his son, Manfred became so obsessed and believed that he must divorce his wife Hippolita to marry the intended bride of his deceased son. He was so invested in this he did not want his son’s intended wife Isabella to be interested in or to be with anyone else, only him and he was going to do about anything to make sure that he married her. Not only was he lusting off and trying to marry this young lady, but he also had no problem with having his daughter marry the father of this said young woman that he was pursuing.  

– “I tell you, “Said Manfred imperiously, “Hippolita is no longer my wife; I divorce her from this hour. Too long has she cursed me by her unfruitfulness. My fate depends on having sons, and this night I trust will give a new date to my hopes.” “At those words he seized the cold hand of Isabella, who was half dead with fright and horror”. I personally think that Manfred was saying that his wife was too old to give him a child/son and that’s one reason he was lusting off of someone that was younger. He knew that Isabella would be able to give him what he wanted (a child/son because he felt his fate depended on it). Manfred had a sexual attitude/drive towards Isabella, and he was very lustful towards her. Isabella on the other hand was victimized and terrified of Manfred, she was fearful of him. Isabella felt as if she was being trapped in the castle and did everything she could to escape him. She had to find her way out through the subterranean passages (a physical feature of the castle) in order to get her freedom. Manfred had his own plan and sexual desires towards Isabella (which showed that she was sexually entrapped by him) which made him not want her to leave the castle.  

-I believe the genre of horror films is a contemporary example of fiction or media that create the effects listed here as “hallmarks of gothic fiction”.  

1 Comment

  1. Cory McCarthy

    I think it’s interesting you went the age route with his reasoning for not going after Hippolita, that could for sure be a reason. I wonder how old people were in these books, they only really speak of Connor and Matilda, if Hippolita was barren then it could add a completely different dynamic.

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