beckyward
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I have just started seriously thinking about my dissertation and what I want to write and I feel like I am a bit stuck. At the moment I think I want to write about Du Maurier's Rebecca, Stevenson's Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde and possibly Shelley's Frankenstein. I want to write about how gothic literature represents a quest for identity however, I am not sure whether these books would be too cliche to write about as they are all obviously very popular and therefore rather obvious novels to write on. Has anyone else got nay suggestions about what books to read or do you think this idea would be feasible?
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(Original post by beckyward)
I have just started seriously thinking about my dissertation and what I want to write and I feel like I am a bit stuck. At the moment I think I want to write about Du Maurier's Rebecca, Stevenson's Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde and possibly Shelley's Frankenstein. I want to write about how gothic literature represents a quest for identity however, I am not sure whether these books would be too cliche to write about as they are all obviously very popular and therefore rather obvious novels to write on. Has anyone else got nay suggestions about what books to read or do you think this idea would be feasible?
I think your disssertation sounds interesting. I would personally work backwards. So you have your main idea which is identity. So you need to make sure you have some secondary sources to help you with your dissertation. I personally don't know any names that deal with identity. But I'd say that's what your main focus should be on and looking up literary or theoretical books about identity in literature. Also, since you are focusing on the Gothic, you need to make sure you understand this as a genre and not a theme.

Gothic Literature include:
DraculaThe Wasp Factory
The Beetle (often an unsung novel as Dracula overshadowed this publication)The Monk
Castle of Otranto.

The more popular your text choices are, the more literary criticism there will be which will make your dissertation easier. It will also help with what sort of ideas you'd want to incorporate. For example, a chapter in your diss. could compare "The hunger to be human: Monsters to Humans" or something. For example, how Frankenstein's monster wants to be human so he watches the family in the cottage to learn of the history of the world, the wars and immorality of man, etc to understand what it means to be human. You could argue Dracula wishes to become human by invading London and learn about the human world. Or you could argue against this response where the monster is rejected from society because his quest for identity has not been made so he goes on a rampage and kills innocent lives. Same for Dracula, his quest to become more human like does not suffice, so he wishes to turn the human race to his own, vampiric race.

Hope I've helped!
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