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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Ghost of Domesticity: A Haunting of the Minds and Bodies of Women in the Works of Flannery O'Connor and Shirley Jackson
by Bilke, Christy Ann, M.A., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2018, 68; 10827027
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines the representation of domesticity in the psychological and physical lives of women in literature. The interpretive question of the argument asks, how does the haunting of domesticity affect and create meaning in the lives of female characters? Domesticity is an idea that has been used to as a means of submission by a domineering other. The idea of domesticity is a catalyst that is used to help Hulga Hopewell from Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People” and Eleanor Vance from Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House to break away from oppressive influences; by examining these feminist narratives we will see how two women attempt to survive the physical and mental hauntings of domesticity and its effects on their minds and bodies as they try to preserve the self. Hulga and Eleanor are women who are not following the expectations of family nor society, as they choose to take different paths in life, they face judgment and criticism for not following societal norms. These women will struggle against the domesticity that has been passed down for generations through their mothers. Hulga is forced to move back home, where she tries everything to avoid her mother’s brand of domesticity, and Eleanor runs away trying to escape the bonds of domesticity. Both women come face to face with their deepest fears when they confront this haunting; and ultimately will be physically and mentally traumatized.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Davis-McElligatt, Joanna
Commitee: Ingram, Shelley, Ratliff, Clancy
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American literature
Publication Number: 10827027
ISBN: 978-1-392-04166-6
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