The Colonies' Curious Creepers: Animated Flora as an EcoGothic Transgression of the Colonial-Colonialist Dichotomy, 1880-1920
Between imperial globalisation, scientific discoveries, and improved technologies, the late nineteenth and early twentieth century introduced the Western public to exciting plants from distant colonial lands. With them, however, came terrible tales of the vegetal monsters. This thesis argues that animated flora in Gothic short fiction between 1880 and 1920 is actually a displacement of the Western fear of a transgression of the colonial-colonialist dichotomy—meaning the loss of its believed superiority over the colonial world. This is done through the analysis of four short stories, namely Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The American’s Tale’ (1880), Lucy H. Hooper’s ‘Carnivorine’ (1889), H. G. Wells’ ‘The Flowering of the Strange Orchid’ (1894), and Herman Cyril McNeile’s ‘The Green Death’ (1920). This thesis is grounded in the importance of coming to understand relevant systemic injustices linked to colonialism and our detrimental relationship to the environment, which it hopes to add to.
Faculteit der Letteren