Ellie Gardner

Ellie’s thesis examines the representation of the literary antiheroine in contemporary Gothic and crime fiction, and focuses specifically on how this figure exposes cultural anxieties surrounding female power, violence, sexuality, liminality, and motherhood. Beginning with an historicization of the antiheroine figure, this research traces patterns of representation and characterisation in a range of classic and contemporary texts, before focusing on two specific genres and the notable texts within. This thesis argues that the antiheroine’s powerful fluidity allows her to remain culturally relevant and nuanced, therefore positioning her as a vehicle through which patriarchal norms can be interrogated and disrupted.

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