Hybridity In Marryat's The Blood Of The Vampire

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The demonization of the racial other imperils the purity of the English. Looking at the racialized female bodies predominantly through the lens of hybridity that opens a dysfunctional space for her Harriet epitomizes the oriental demon that erects in sharp contrast to the British/Western imperial self. She turns out to be the “unhomely” who imposes a threat to the purity of the English race. Informed by the decline of the British Empire as an imperial force that used to subdue the world, The Blood of the Vampire rises concerns about the possibility of the racial and cultural other to contaminate the purity of the English identity and blood and degenerate the white race. It goes beyond that to recreate the white hegemonic representations of…show more content…
Her Caribbean lineage that asserts her “biological hybridity” underlines her animality, savagery, and monstrosity. Harriet’s mixed blood could ostensibly tarnish the English race and even contaminates the purity of British identity. Indeed, this work will argue that Marryat pushes the limits of the Female Gothic to contribute into the rise of the female imperial gothic which features the encounter between England and its colonies. Thus, Harriet’s journey to the metropolitan centre can better translate the worrying fear of the uncivilized Other who come to invade the coloniser’s territory in an instance of “reverse colonization”. Unlike classic female Gothic narrative that sets its plot outside England, Marryat brings it to the streets of London focusing on the dark forces that jeopardize this city. Her novel, as David Punter argues, “articulate[s] anxieties about the integrity of the nation, about the possibility of the ‘primitive’ infecting the civilized world”…show more content…
She goes on to claim that “What was most alarming to the fin de siècle was that sexuality and sex roles might no longer be contained within the neat and permanent borderlines of gender categories. Men and women were not as clearly identified and separated as they had been” (Sexual Anarchy 9). Female passion which is deemed unfeminine by the Victorian society “exorcises fears regarding female sexuality and women’s ability to procreate” (Gamble 253). Harriet Brandt is a “threateningly liminal subject” who is audacious enough to voice her sexual propensities (Hurley 199). Her sexually aberrant body challenges the dominant codes of normality and morality promoted by mainstream society and imperils the patriarchal hegemonic system which is deep-seated in the logic of binarism. Indeed, sexuality in its heterosexual form reveals the hierarchically constructed relationships between men and women and reinforces the binary opposition of male/female. In this respect, it is the cultural and social construction of sexuality that also defines the relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed. While sexuality displays the patriarchal ideology lying at the core of mainstream society through the relationships between men and women, it also constructs

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