Rocky Mountain E-Review
of Language and Literature

Volume 58, Number 2
Fall 2004


Controversy and the Single Woman in 
The Maid's Tragedy and The Roaring Girl

Adrienne L. Eastwood 
University of California - San Diego

Research on unmarried women in early modern England has shown that as a social category, single women lacked agency and were much maligned; however, the representation of single women in literature is a site of ideological contention. Representations of single women in the theater, particularly in works of the seventeenth century during the height of the Swetnam debates (1615-1620), dispute the status of women in society. What we find are figures that disrupt constructions of femininity in ways that would have resonated significantly with a growing, and at least partially rebellious, female audience. For some, the voice of the single woman would have provided a scathing critique of emergent patriarchal structures; others would have been interested in the unruly woman's containment (either by marriage or by death) within the narrative. Like actual single women during the period, the single woman on the stage slides between social ranks and genders; she eludes containment, expanding agency and redefining femininity through performances of social rank, gender, and sexuality. Yet at the same time, because of her marginal status, the figure of the single woman functions to defuse the rebellious impulses she provokes. Since she exists primarily on the social fringes, the positions she voices and represents can also be dismissed. The ambiguity of the play leaves decisions up to the audience, but even in discourses that appear dominant, alternate and possibly resistant voices are evoked.

Coercion and Confinement in 
Eleonore Thon's Adelheit von Rastenberg

Bernadette H. Hyner 
Washington State University

Thon's drama is a gender-conscious criticism of Storm and Stress dramatic tenets. It centers on women's lack of autonomy and explores possible behavior models for women who are at the center of romantic pursuits. Thon juxtaposes social reality, which opposes gender parity with claims of gender equality imbedded in the sentimental love paradigm. While the romantic hero of the Storm and Stress era undermines convention to secure a mate, he ironically relies on the separation of the sexes. Thon subverts standard sympathetic portrayals of passionate aggressors and exposes the violence concealed in their highly charged love rhetoric. Her theatrical use of spaces aligns itself with the employment of rhetoric to emphasize the love interest's mental and physical abuse.

The Motive for Murder in 
"The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe

Elena V. Baraban 
University of Victoria

"The Cask of Amontillado" (1846) by Edgar Allan Poe depicts a man who makes his confession about an atrocious murder he committed in the past. A seeming absence of motive for this murder puzzles the reader and has intrigued critics, but a close reading of "The Cask of Amontillado" helps uncover the motive for Montresor's crime. An examination of onomastic and semantic characteristics of the text reveals that the characters' social status and their class affiliations lie at the heart of the conflict depicted in the story.


Bridges from Content Experts to Novice Learners 
in 21st-Century Classrooms

Susan J. Kilgore 
Washington State University

I started out my grown-up life as a good teacher. I turned into a very bad teacher. After a number of wounding and frustrating years, I am beginning to be a better teacher, more professional, more visible, and more able to explain how, why, and what my students are learning. To become more professional, I have had to learn to be more intentional, more thoughtful about what I am doing, to ask better questions of myself about my teaching, and to become more systematic about recording what worked and what did not. What follows is a short trek down that path from good to bad, a path I don't think I'm alone in having traveled.


The Vulgar Tongue: Medieval and Post Medieval Vernacularity, ed. Fiona Somerset and Nicholas Watson 
Reviewer: Rick McDonald

Medievalia et Humanistica. Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Culture. New Series #30: Humanist Educational Theory, Gregory the Great, and Culinary Comedy 
Reviewer: Albrecht Classen

Directing Shakespeare: A Scholar Onstage, by Sidney Homan 
Reviewer: Joanne Craig

Milton Studies 42 (2002), ed. David Loewenstein 
Reviewer: Todd Butler

The History of the European Family: Volume 2; Family Life in the Long Nineteenth Century, 1789-1913, ed. David I. Kertzer and Marzio Barbagli 
Reviewer: Helynne Hollstein Hansen

Approaches to Teaching Gothic Fiction: The British and American Traditions, ed. Diane Long Hoeveler and Tamar Heller 
Reviewer: L. Adam Mekler

Approaches to Teaching Conrad's Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer, ed. Hunt Hawkins and Brian W. Shaffer 
Reviewer: Cathia Jenainati

Beauty Raises the Dead: Literature and Loss in the Fin de Siècle, by Robert Ziegler 
Shirley Jackson's American Gothic, by Darryl Hattenhauer 

Reviewer: Carol Siegel

Surveying the Literary Landscapes of Terry Tempest Williams: New Critical Essays, ed. Katherine R. Chandler and Melissa A. Goldthwaite 
Reviewer: Deborah Weagel

The Modern World of Neith Boyce: Autobiography and Diaries, ed. Carol DeBoer-Langworthy 
Reviewer: Catherine Kunce

Maurice Blanchot et la fin du mythe, by Daniela Hurezanu 
Reviewer: Elisabeth Arnould

Splitter: Sondierungen zum Theater, ed. Axel Schalk and Christian E. Rochow 
Reviewer: Irmgard Hunt

Imperial Ascent: Mountaineering, Masculinity, and Empire, by Peter L. Bayers 
Reviewer: Cliff Toliver

Phenomenological Approaches to Popular Culture, ed. Michael T. Carroll and Eddie Tafoya 
Reviewer: Daniel Smitherman

Silicon Literacies: Communication, Innovation and Education in the Electronic Age, ed. Ilana Snyder 
Reviewer: John Rothfork