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"Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse : 21st Century Neo-Gothic" - an essay
vendredi 20 juillet 2012, par Webmaster
An innocent young woman walks through a house without clocks or windows. She climbs the hardwood stairs, where she is not supposed to go, and opens the door to a darkened room. Another young woman is strapped down, nearly naked, moaning and writhing in pain as wires and needles pierce her body. The first woman’s instinctive response to seeing another person suffer is to say, “She hurts,” and try to help, but her keeper shoos her away, saying that this is nothing to be worried about.
You could hardly ask for a more Gothic moment than this early scene from the premiere episode of Dollhouse, “Ghost.” From a historical perspective, even the most modern entertainments are descendants of ancient stories and ideas. Dollhouse, though marketed as a science fiction/spy/action series, is at heart a Gothic tale—a genre that dates back to the eighteenth century—that has been updated to the twenty-first century, the era of corporate power and mind-control technology.
Virtue in Distress
“Gothic” in literature can be a very vague term. The term comes from setting the stories in the medieval past and emphasizing buildings with Gothic architecture, such as abbeys and castles. As Lisa Hopkins describes in Screening the Gothic, the stories themselves share certain characteristic elements and themes :
Often set in ancient, partially ruined...
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