Blowing Up the Nuclear Family: Shirley Jackson’s Queer Girls in Postwar US Culture

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12795/REN.2021.i25.02

Keywords:

Afro-Latina, racism, gender, body, slam poetry, sexual desire, embodied discourse, self-representation

Abstract

This paper intends to analyze the representation of girlhood as a liminal space in three novels by Shirley Jackson: The Bird’s Nest (1954), The Haunting of Hill House (1959) and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962). Bearing in mind how nuclear fears and the national identity are configured around the ideal of a safe domestic space in US postwar culture, the paper explores cultural anxieties about teenage girls who refuse to conform to normative femininity, following Lee Edelman’s theory of the Child as the future of the nation (2004). I will argue that Jackson criticizes the rigid possibilities for women at this time, and I will show how her representations of deviant femininity refuse and subvert the discourse of the nation.

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Author Biography

Laura de la Parra Fernández, Nebrija University

Dr Laura de la Parra Fernández

Program Director, BA in Modern Languages

Department of Applied Languages

School of Languages and Education

Nebrija University

References

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--- and Lee Edelman. Sex, or the Unbearable. Duke UP, 2014.

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---. We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Penguin, 2009.

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WALLACE, Honor McKitrick. “‘The Hero Is Married and Ascends the Throne’: The Economics of Narrative End in Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, vol. 22, no. 1, 2003, pp. 173–191.

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Published

2021-03-05

How to Cite

de la Parra Fernández, L. “Blowing Up the Nuclear Family: Shirley Jackson’s Queer Girls in Postwar US Culture”. Revista De Estudios Norteamericanos, vol. 25, Mar. 2021, doi:10.12795/REN.2021.i25.02.

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Articles
Received 2020-07-22
Accepted 2020-12-11
Published 2021-03-05
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