Conradian Claustrophobia: Gender, Confinement, Emancipation
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Original versionConradiana: a Journal of Joseph Conrad Studies. 2017, 49 (2-3), 9-26. 10.1353/cnd.2017.0008
This article discusses the ways in which space is gendered in a number of Conrad's fictions, with a particular focus on those spaces experienced as metaphorically or literally claustrophobic and stifling. First two shorter works in which men face entrapment are discussed: "The Inn of the Two Witches" and "Amy Foster." The article then builds on the treatment of Alice's imprisonment in "A Smile of Fortune" to consider two works that focus on a woman who feels stifled and entrapped in physical and cultural spaces: "To-morrow" and The Arrow of Gold. The movement through these works does not follow the chronology of their composition, but rather focuses on the varying ways in which Conrad uses constrictive physical spaces to explore gender stereotypes.