For the most part, mothers in the Gothic are missing or dead (See Missing Mother). When she is present, such as Lucy’s mother in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the mother is associated with the incapacity to carry out maternal duties. If she is at all capable, the mother has to be killed in order for the domestic instability that underpins the Gothic text to flourish. An example of this is Antonia's mother in The Monk, who spots Ambrosio's devious intentions, and must be smothered to death before he can achieve the rape of her daughter.
Only the occasional evil or deviant mother (Olalla’s mother in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Olalla for example), is allowed to survive in the Gothic text. Even then, the evil and deviant mother figure (such as H.R Haggard’s titular character in She) has to be removed eventually for there to be some sort of closure to the Gothic text.
Courtesy of Choo Li Lin, National University of Singapore and Wendy Fall, Marquette University .