The room will set you free : A Feminist Reading of Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart
The enclosed room is in classic Gothic novels closely connected to its female characters, and often works as a mean to suppress them. Clive Barker, however, while working within the Gothic genre, uses the enclosed room in novel ways in The Hellbound Heart, creating a type of Gothic female character that is different from the classical stereotype. By comparing the enclosed room and the female characters in Barker’s The Hellbound Heart to the classical model, in particular as represented by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, this essay will show how Barker uses the room in a new way: he breaks away from the classic motif of the room as a means of female sexual oppression and instead depicts female characters taking charge of the room and therefore of themselves and their own sexuality.
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