Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Committee Chair

Alexandra Valint

Committee Chair Department

English

Committee Member 2

Allison Abra

Committee Member 2 Department

History

Committee Member 3

Ellen Weinauer

Committee Member 3 Department

English

Abstract

This thesis argues Richard Marsh’s Victorian novel The Beetle offers a critique of British colonial practices through the reverse colonization experiences had by British characters in the novel. Intrusive, exploitative actions perpetrated by the British subjects in the novel invite reciprocal mental and physical invasions from the female colonized subject. These encounters serve as metaphors for British imperialism, and the fear and loathing for the colonized subject felt by the British characters reveals anxiety felt by Victorian England regarding colonial subjects. The monstrous acts of the colonized subject mirror the exploitation of British imperialism, which ultimately critiques the practice.

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