Gothic Imagination (LTMO 121)

Andrew did good, but somewhat uneven, work for this course. He participated in section, demonstrating his interest in, and engagement with, the course material, and his comments were insightful and valuable to class discussion. His papers were characterized by creative and original thought, but his arguments were often hard to follow, and would have benefited from more clearly defined thesis statements, and more in-depth analyses of the texts on which he chose to write.

In his first paper Andrew offered a compelling exploration of the disintegration of identity and the confusion between the artificial and the organic in both Frankenstein and Alien, but his argument would have benefited from a deeper demonstration of how his ideas connected and worked together.

For his second paper Andrew chose to write a creative piece in which he re-wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the point of view of Lanyon. In this paper Andrew did an excellent job mimicking the language of the novel, and drawing out pertinent issues of morality and hypocrisy.

Andrew’s final paper, was problematic. Although he made some fascinating points regarding the use of ambiguity to create fear in Turn of the Screw, this paper lacked a unifying argument, and did not engage the novel very closely. As a result, the paper was vague and general, and the ideas unconvincing. (Submitted by TA Jessica Breheny.)

Course description:┬áConsideration of the development of the Gothic imagination in English and American texts beginning with The Castle of Otranto in the eighteenth century, concluding with Beloved and Spiegelman’s Maus books, and including psychoanalytic theory and contemporary film. ┬áStudents wrote two short and one long essay and submitted journals exploring the relation of themes studied in the course to contemporary events.

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