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.
The changes in warfare during the twentieth century could be addressed from a variety of perspectives, political, cultural, and national. This book addresses the issue of how gender is constructed by exploring a range of historical events. It also asserts that a focus on gender, rather than producing a depoliticised reading of our culture, offers an informed debate on a range of political issues. The book explores the impact of warfare on women whose civilian or quasi-military roles resulted in their exile or self-exile to the role of 'other'. The book first draws upon a number of genres to use Richard Aldington and H. D. (the poet Hilda Doolittle), to understand the social and cultural implications of warfare for both parties in a relationship. Then, it examines the intricate gender assumptions that surround the condition of 'shell shock' through a detailed exploration of the life and work of Ver a Brittain. Continuing this theme, considering the nature of warfare, the gendered experience of warfare, through the lens of the home front, the book discusses the gendered attitudes to the First World War located within Aldous Huxley's novella 'Farcical History of Richard Greenow'. Wars represented in Western cinema are almost universally gendered as male, which corresponds to the battlefield history of twentieth-century warfare. As this situation changes, and more women join the armed services, especially in the United States, a more inclusive cinematic coding evolves through struggle. The book considers three decades of film, from the Vietnam War to the present.
mover in much of this was the
war in Vietnam. In the spring of 1965, the US escalated its military
intervention in the civil war. This was not the first war experienced by
the generation who came of age after the Second World War; between
1945 and 1965, the US dispatched troops to Korea, Lebanon, and
Santo Domingo. The threat of war with the Soviet Union, too, had
loomed since the end of the Second World War. War, then, was never
too distant from public consciousness, but the VietnamWar was nonetheless an unprecedented development in American military history in
Heroism, masculinity and violence in Vietnam War narratives
Angela K. Smith
battle, successful action carried out against an enemy, has been an
integral part of the way masculinity has been constructed for
generations. A simple paradigm, perhaps, but complicated when viewed
from the early twenty-first century. Discussing this, the helicopter
pilots in Robert Mason’s VietnamWar memoir Chickenhawk ( 1984 ) articulate an interesting paradox. 2 They call themselves
‘chickenhawks’. The metaphor, a hybrid of
testimonies come from the women’s branches of the armed services.
But, Bennett argues, military status was not necessary; the Battle of
the Atlantic was all-encompassing.
However, in the later years of the twentieth century the
numbers of women in the military seem to have grown. Chapter 9 illustrates the confusion often experienced by women
in the VietnamWar. They could be soldiers in the armies of either the
Family, gender and post-colonial issues in three Vietnam War texts
is exporting his domestic troubles to Vietnam. 13
Susan Jeffords, writing in the late 1980s, said that
‘Vietnam [war] representation is only topically
“about” the war in Vietnam … Its true subject is the
masculine response to changes in gender relations in recent decades, its
real battle that of the masculine to dominate and overpower its
“enemy” – the feminine.’ 14 Coetzee’s story makes a similar
relationship between vampire and war in
novels, films and short stories from the Crimean War (1853–6),
through to the Russo-Turkish conflict (1877–8), First World War
(1914–18) and up to the VietnamWar (1959–75).
In the act of parasitically feeding off a living body, the
vampire functions as an appropriate trope for the draining effects of
war on the body politic. Just as war lends itself to Gothicisation, as
The body is a potential marker of monstrosity, identifying those who do not fit into the body politic. Irregularity and the grotesque have been associated with Gothic architecture and are also indicative of wayward flesh and its deformities. Through an investigation of the body and its oppression by the church, the medical profession and the state, this book reveals the actual horrors lying beneath fictional horror in settings as diverse as the monastic community, slave plantation, operating theatre, Jewish ghetto and battlefield trench. Original readings of canonical Gothic literary and film texts include The Castle of Otranto, The Monk, Frankenstein, Dracula and Nosferatu. This collection of fictionalised dangerous bodies will be traced back to the effects of the English Reformation, Spanish Inquisition, French Revolution, Caribbean slavery, Victorian medical malpractice, European anti-Semitism and finally warfare, ranging from the Crimean up to the Vietnam War. Dangerous Bodies demonstrates how the Gothic corpus is haunted by a tangible sense of corporeality, often at its most visceral. Chapters set out to vocalise specific body parts such as skin, genitals, the nose and eyes, as well as blood. The endangered or dangerous body lies at the centre of the clash between victim and persecutor and has generated tales of terror and narratives of horror, which function to either salve, purge or dangerously perpetuate such oppositions. This ground-breaking book will be of interest to academics and students of Gothic studies, gender and film studies and especially to readers interested in the relationship between history and literature.
Printing Terror places horror comics of the mid-twentieth century in dialogue with the anxieties of their age. It rejects the narrative of horror comics as inherently and necessarily subversive and explores, instead, the ways in which these texts manifest white male fears over America’s changing sociological landscape. It examines two eras: the pre-CCA period of the 1940s and 1950s, and the post-CCA era to 1975. The authors examine each of these periods through the lenses of war, gender, and race, demonstrating that horror comics are centred upon white male victimhood and the monstrosity of the gendered and/or racialised other. It is of interest to scholars of horror, comics studies, and American history. It is suitably accessible to be used in undergraduate classes.
struggle. Three decades of film, from the VietnamWar to the present,
will be considered in this essay.
Despite the growing US archive of women’s writing
about their overseas involvement in the VietnamWar, no such active
American female presence is visible in US cinema treating the conflict.
Women’s writing signifies the contribution made by the serving
15,ooo American women, equally divided between