Elizabeth Buckeye's Reviews > The Beetle

The Beetle by Richard Marsh
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's review
Nov 15, 2011

** spoiler alert ** The Beetle by Richard Marsh is an older novel, 1897 publication date that holds ideals and morals still applicable in today’s society thus making it a wonderful piece of literature. Marsh references the issues of race, gender roles and historical influence in time-periods through the voices of 4 different narrators and universally challenged ideas. The title itself holds racism, for while the creature the antagonist changes into is a beetle, because he/she/it is from Egypt, the form itself is cliché. Characters in the novel also refer to The Beetle, as “The Arab”, “It” and “The Beetle” making it so neither the reader nor the character learns the beetle’s real name, thus, making it so the character holds little power in society. Marsh also pushes the boundaries of gender roles, for the time period he was writing in and about, women had very little rights, however, Marjorie is a very strong woman in the novel breaking the mold and ideas set for her from a young age and forming her own path. Both of these boundary pushes are what make The Beetle such a strong novel, because it shows Marsh believed change was needed, giving the novel a deeper meaning. This is an aspect I aspire to use in my own writing, creating an overall sense of something more, or a moral to the story so that readers are left contemplating the novel at the end instead of tossing it to the side because it is over.

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