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Monstrous M*A*S*H
Khaki Gothic and Comedy
in Gothic Studies
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On first glance, M*A*S*H (1972–83) might not be the ideal text for Gothic analysis. Aesthetically, the traditional dark castles surrounded by black forests in the moonlight are replaced by muted khaki and green canvas Army tents, and the tinny canned laughter punctuating the sardonic jokes echo longer than the terrified screams in the night. Gothic and war are uneasy bedfellows; it is the inclusion of comedy, however, that determines just how horrific the result can be. Using M*A*S*H as a primary example to explore what I refer to as Khaki Gothic this paper will explore how, utilising Gothic tropes, comedy can disguise, diffuse and intensify the horrors of war.

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