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Gothic for GirlsMisty and British Comics$
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Julia Round

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496824455

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496824455.001.0001

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A Taxonomy of Terror

A Taxonomy of Terror

(p.151) Chapter 8 A Taxonomy of Terror
Gothic for Girls

Julia Round

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter develops the previous discussion by examining Misty’suse of Gothic themes in its stories. It discusses the typical themes of the Misty tales, using qualitative and quantitative research into the entire corpus of 443 stories. This chapter reflects on various claims about Misty’s content, and applies Pat Mills’ girls’ comics formulae (slave, Cinderella, friend, mystery) to its stories. It then suggests an alternative approach developed from the author’s analysis of plot summaries to produce an inductive list of common plot tropes (such as external magical, internal power, backfiring actions, and more). It relates these tropes to established Gothic themes (ambivalence, redemption) and concludes that, although the fare of Misty was not as consistently negative as readers might remember, it was perhaps more shocking due to inconsistency with moral ‘rules’.

Keywords:   Quantitative analysis, Unhappy endings, Ambivalence, Magic, Moral rules

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