female identity

“Into the Moving Unquiet Depths”: Dreams and the Unconscious in Rebecca (1938) Thumbnail

“Into the Moving Unquiet Depths”: Dreams and the Unconscious in Rebecca (1938)

Posted by Pam Sherman on June 16, 2017 in Blog, Pamela Sherman tagged with , , , ,

This blog series has chiefly been concerned with investigating the narrator's fight to establish her own identity in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. The second Mrs. de Winter's almost morbid fascination with Rebecca as a model of the perfect wife, coupled with Mrs. Danvers' cruel treatment and Maxim's refusal to regard his wife as an adult are all contributing factors to the narrator's struggles. However, when the mystery surrounding Rebecca is dispelled and Maxim reveals his crime, a change takes place in the narrator. Far from being surprised by her husband's propensity for murder, she list

Infantilizing the Narrator: The Husband as Father in Rebecca (1938) Thumbnail

Infantilizing the Narrator: The Husband as Father in Rebecca (1938)

Posted by Pam Sherman on June 09, 2017 in Blog, Pamela Sherman tagged with , , ,

In my last post, female identity in Rebecca was discussed and the narrator's goal of being a good wife as an ideal ego, Rebecca as the ego ideal, and Mrs. Danvers as a superego that attempts to tear down the narrator at every turn were established. This week, we will take a look at Maxim's part in the narrator's struggles with identity. Through his infantilization of the second Mrs. de Winter and attempts to protect her innocence, it becomes apparent that Maxim also performs a superego-like function by preventing her from fully embracing her role as a wife. From the moment that they bec

In Rebecca’s Shadow: Female Identity in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (1938) Thumbnail

In Rebecca’s Shadow: Female Identity in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (1938)

Posted by Pam Sherman on June 02, 2017 in Blog, Pamela Sherman tagged with , , , ,

Ellen Moers first coined the term "Female Gothic" to simply refer to Gothic texts written by women. Since then, the field of Female Gothic has expanded to include issues relating to women in these texts, including anxieties surrounding identity and entrapment. Patricia Murphy makes a distinction between Female Gothic of eighteenth and nineteenth century novels, and what she calls New Woman Gothic. She argues that, in earlier texts, "the period preceding marriage typically is fraught with Gothic difficulties such as entrapment whereas, in the latter texts, marriage itself becomes the horrif