Richard Marsh The Beetle (1897) Book 1 (Chapter 2: Inside (the horror of…
(1897) Book 1
Chapter 1: Outside
the use of cockney dialect and classism
Holton's narrative as showing fear of poverty; "tramps"
"I seemed to be leaving civilization behind me" (45)
"It was only because I feared that if I attempted to spend the night " (45: calls attention to cycles of poverty; vulnerability and health; also drive to work? Als the optics of respectability--he is "fresh"; stigmas about the optics of poverty
frontloads the vulnerability to highlight violent systems? "it was the agony of dying inch by inch which was so hard to bear" (46)-- questions of right to life/versus right to death. What about right to not let die? Maybe asking us to think about liveable lives and poverty. Empathy?
Chapter 2: Inside
"a moral, if not a legal right to its shelter" (48) What do we do with this b&e? The first person narration walks us through the methodical and testing of the boundaries.
"What was more, I had a horrible persuasion that, though unseeing, I was seen; that my every movement was being watched" (49): raises issues of public perception, public gazing, stigma. The constant surveillance and internalized surveillance?
"I made an effort to better play the man. I knew that, at the moment, I played the cur" (49). become more dominant/less cowardly
the horror of the first beetle encounter
the use of 1st person narration amps the horror
horror comes from loss of autonomy/bodily control. Parallels economic conditions "my limbs were as if they were not mine" (50)
"invasion" "mounted" "embraces" "It had my loins" "It touched my lips" "It embraced me with its myriad of legs" "shall i ever forget the feeling"? really invokes sexual assault
really engages our affective responses; and uplays all sensory experiences
"I could not at once decide if it was a man or a woman.Indeed at first I doubted if it was anything human. But, afterwards, I knew it to be a man--for this reason if no other that is was impossible such a creature could be feminine": the use of pronouns "it"--dehumanizes those outside binary; also how do you KNOW he's a man???
"though whether it was a man speaking I could not have positively said; but I had no doubt it was a foreigner" (52) disqualifying based on race/ethnicity
Talking about gender variance/ gender non binary
use their pronouns: he, she, they
Mx instead of Mrs. Mr.
variance versus deviance; if we frame gender variance as gender deviance, we mark people as wrong, lesser, and disqualified