Title

Return of the oppressed: Hushed women and tamed landscapes in Charlotte Wood's the natural way of things

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Aeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies

Publisher

Aeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies

School

School of Arts and Humanities

Comments

McEleney, R. (2018). Return of the oppressed: Hushed women and tamed landscapes in Charlotte Wood's the natural way of things. Aeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies, 5(1), 28-42. https://www.aeternumjournal.com/issues

Abstract

The Gothic as a genre has continually evolved since Horace Walpole’s time and yet renderings of contemporary Australian Gothic fictions often return to the patriarchal tradition of subjugating women. Women are treated harshly in the genre and contemporary narratives often reflect this theme. They are frequently abandoned, murdered or left to the mercy of their male counterparts. The landscape is portrayed as malevolent, proving difficult to control and ready to consume any lost person. Charlotte Wood’s 2015 novel The Natural Way of Things is a terrifying look at the misogynistic oppression of women who have had sexual relations with powerful men. She reminds us that female sexuality is still a contentious issue within Australian society. The women within the novel are dehumanised and treated like animals, and Wood enables readers to become voyeurs into a strange and terrifying reality and to explore a dark underworld that is real, but often ignored.

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