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Madness as protest: Charlotte Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper' as a subversive text

Nandan, Jyoti (2013) Madness as protest: Charlotte Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper' as a subversive text. [Conference Proceedings]

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My paper analyses Charlotte Gilman’s short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (1892) using feminist theories of the body that argue that the body is inscribed by culture, is both a site of surrender and of resistance, and that madness (a bodily condition) - an outcome of repressed conflict - is a form of protest. The story undermines a patriarchal structure through a convincing depiction of the suppression of women in the Victorian era and of the descent into insanity – an outcome of this suppression. The subversive power of the story is increased by the strategies – both overt and covert, structural and stylistic – Gilman employs. The use of first person narration, in particular of the journal form, allows a subversive subtext and creates an intimacy between the reader and the narrator. The use of symbols and ironical statement, apart from supporting the subtext, allows, as does the open ending, the reader’s imagination to play a role and invites her/him to participate in the creation of the text.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Antoinette Kafoa
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2015 23:22
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2016 03:15

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