Shirley Jackson Female Gothic Literature

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One’s personality begins to develop within the womb; the same place everyone’s connection with his or her mother begins. The role of the mother holds an impact on their child starting from the very beginning. This impact can both benefit the child in some ways, and cause damage him or her in other ways. The way the child is affected molds their identities as adolescence and is carried with them into adulthood. According to Erik H. Erikson, the development of one’s identity “’begins’ somewhere in the first true ‘meeting’ of mother and baby as two persons who can touch and recognize each other…the process has its normative crisis in adolescence and is in many ways determined by means of what went before and determines much that follows.” (23,…show more content…
325, House Mothers and Haunted Daughters: Shirley Jackson and Female Gothic). Jackson has other common threads within her novels, such as “a woman’s troubled relation to her mother and/or to a house or to ‘home’ [which] produces anxieties about the world that coincide with a central element in Female Gothic narratives, ‘fear of self.’” (pg. 325, House Mothers and Haunted Daughters: Shirley Jackson and Female Gothic). These anxieties within novels, due to relationships with mothers, can cause one to experience an identity crisis. According to Judith Kegan Gardiner, “fictional women are worse off than real ones: women’s ‘search for identity has been even less successful within the world of fiction than outside it.’” (pg. 347, On Female Identity and Writing by Women). Often times, these anxieties are not solved. Since 1920, “’self discovery,’ ‘a search for identity’ [has been] the main theme of women’s literature… Female identity formation is dependent on the mother-daughter bond.” (pg. 347, On Female Identity and Writing by Women). A mother is a role model for her daughter(s). The behavior that her children observe of their mother is how they will portray the rest of the world. In an environment where a mother is judgmental, her daughter will most likely be the…show more content…
“It’s half my car,” Eleanor said. “I helped pay for it.” … “Carrie drives it all the time, and I never even take it out of the garage,” Eleanor said. “Besides, you’ll be in the mountains all summer, and you can’t use it there. Carrie, you know you won’t use the car in the mountains.” … “In an case, Eleanor, I am sure that I am doing what Mother would have thought best. Mother had confidence in me and would certainly never have approved my letting you run wild, going off heaven knows where, in my car.” … “I am sure Mother would have agreed with me, Eleanor.” (pg. 11-12, The Haunting of Hill

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