Sunday, December 9, 2012

Six Sentences on Sunday: Transcendence in Gothic Literature by Christine Locke

Characters in the gothic novel often attempt--with or without success--to escape what binds or confines them.   Often, the gothic mansion physically represents the family curse or legend or inheritance that imprisions them, but this is not necessarily so.  Think of The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe, in which the owner of the house dies as his house falls around him while our narrator makes a near and daring escape from the tumbling manor.  Or Jane Eyre, in which Jane and Mr. Rochester are free to begin life together when fire dooms not only Mrs. Rochester but the gothic manse as well. 

In The Legacy Series, Carin Mallace is both trapped and liberated by the inheritance of the mansion.  You could argue either way: by inheriting Mallace Estate and its Legacy, she and her mother are safe from the dangers she spent her childhood fleeing.  However, Carin must stay within the mansion most of the time to fulfil the requirements of the Legacy.  Whether or not Carin will escape and whether or not the mansion will survive or transform remains to be seen (we'll just have to wait for Book 3), but there are some clues to be found in the texts of Books 1 & 2.
 Here's a little taste of In Time:

She felt her shoes against the stones, felt each stone underneath her feet, the weight of her body on earth.  When she breathed the air, she felt her connection with that, too.  The autumn chill crept around and above her, far above her, inside her when she breathed it in.  The gentle gusts blew past her body and through her clothes and hair; the current defined the edges of her height, the width of her shoulders, the angles of the roofline of the mansion looming behind her.  Carin pictured breezes flying above the roof, above the oak branches’ topmost tips, afar over the mountains and up into the clouds and beyond them.  Standing on the gravel, she was rooted and free at the same time, grounded and in flight, complete yet undone.

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