REVISITING SHIRLEY JACKSON'S THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE
Dawn Mannay School of social science
s Cardiff University [email protected]
BookTalk Event 8th February 2017
HOLIDAYS, HIDING PLACES AND NO RESOLUTION
SHIRLEY JACKSON (19161965) `fictions used gothic and dystopian motifs to expose the hidden darkness of her society' Time opened its piece with the line `When busy Housewife Shirley Jackson finds time for a new novel, she instinctively begins to id-lib' Denial of the Freudian But for a psychosocial social scientist could the psychoanalytic be a starting point to resolve a lack of resolution? Denial - Laura Schumpert http://www.huzgalleries.com/collections/laura-schumpert
INVITING FREUD AND KLEIN TO HILL HOUSE Unconscious proper and the repressed unconscious Only accessible through dreams, neurotic symptoms and free association Mechanisms of defence Sublimation Repression Suppression Denial Projection Splitting
UNDERSTANDING ELEANOR Eleanor `I would never have suspected it of myself, she thought laughing still; everything is different, I am a new person, very far from home' But the question of `who we are is tied to the memory of who we have been and imagination of what we might become' (Henriques et al. 1998, xviii) `I am' includes all that has made me so. It is more than a statement of immediate fact: it is already biographical' (Berger 1972, p. 370) And the future is always haunted by ghosts of the past If not paranormal, psychological
MISALIGNMENT AND ALIGNMENT Manic juxtaposition Bad turned angle A place of despair Not a fit place, for people, or love, or hope Get away from here, get away from here Projection? Outward manifestation of inner conflict How does the house speak of and to Eleanor?
UNACCEPTABLE FEMININITIES Place, class, culture, age, aesthetics Ideologies of the Welsh Mam, `who should do the dishes' Capacity to care For Eleanor at 32, in 1950s America... No husband, child, mother, job, friends Repressed sexuality Trapped as `infant' `the unacceptable other'
RED, REBELLION, REPRESSION AND HAUNTING Excited at her daring... Wanting to wear such things, I never did before... Mother would be furious Horrible, wicked, dirty and foolish My mother.... Dirty dishes... What would my mother say... would never let me Repression/Suppression Haunted by ghosts of the past
FANTASY, PROJECTION, DENIAL AND SPLITTING Creation of an alternative past and future life [I] found Theodora and now I will not let her go I hate her, she sickens me; she is all washed and clean wearing my red sweater Luke pathways of the heart... journeys end in lovers meeting Selfish man... grow up by yourself... very lonely person
CHOOSING A HOME A rational and agentic choice for the defended subject I want to be some place where I belong A home I haven't a home versus I am home A ready made family widower and two children A reconciliation `Mother, Mother' she whispered `Mother' Reclaiming the fantasy - everything is different, I am a new person
REFERENCES Aaron, J., T. Rees, S. Betts, and M. Vincentelli. 1994. Our sisters' land: The changing identities of women in Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. Berger, J. 1972. About looking: Writers and readers. London: Penguin. Delphy, C. 1984. Close to home: A materialist analysis of women's oppression. London: Hutchinson. Henriques, J., Holloway, W., Urwin, C., Venn, C. and Walkerdine, V. 1998. Changing the subject: psychology, social regulation and subjectivity. London: Routledge. Holloway, W. 2006. The capacity to care: gender and ethical subjectivity. London: Routledge. Klein, M. 1975. Love, guilt and reparation, and other works, 19211945. London: Hogarth Press. Leonard Barker, D., and S. Allen. eds. 1976. Dependence and exploitation in work and marriage. London: Longman. Mannay, D. 2013. 'Keeping close and spoiling' revisited: exploring the significance of 'home' for Family Relations
hips and educational trajectories in a marginalised estate in urban south Wales. Gender and Education
25(1), pp. 91-107. Mannay, D. 2014. Achieving respectable motherhood? exploring the impossibility of feminist and egalitarian ideologies against the everyday realities of lived Welsh working-class femininities. Women's Studies InterNATIONAL FORUM
53, pp. 159-166. Mannay, D. 2016. Who should do the dishes now? Revisiting gender and housework in contemporary urban South Wales. In: Mannay, D. ed. Our Changing Land: Revisiting Gender, Class and Identity in Contemporary Wales. Gender Studies
in Wales Cardiff: University of Wales Press.