23. Not a Refuge Yet: Shirley Jackson's Domestic Hauntings

  1. Charles L. Crow
  1. Dara Downey

Published Online: 13 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch23

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

How to Cite

Downey, D. (2013) Not a Refuge Yet: Shirley Jackson's Domestic Hauntings, in A Companion to American Gothic (ed C. L. Crow), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch23

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470671870

Online ISBN: 9781118608395

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Keywords:

  • Refuge;
  • Prison;
  • Domestic;
  • Housewife;
  • Witch;
  • Gothic;
  • Supernatural;
  • Privacy;
  • Safety;
  • Ghost

Summary

Herself a full-time housewife, the critically neglected writer Shirley Jackson exploited for her body of Gothic fiction the intense pressures on middle-class women in post-World-War-II American to conform to exacting standards in the unpaid housework which increasingly consumed all their time and mental energy. Famous for her story “The Lottery” and the novel The Haunting of Hill House, Jackson's writing repeatedly evokes Gothic domestic spaces, and in doing so articulates the complex relationship between women and the home at mid-century. While Hill House dramatises this relationship in a manner that establishes the house as villain and women as its victims, We Have Always Lived in the Castle offers the possibility of inhabiting the Gothic home as a refuge rather than as a prison.