How Did Charlotte Perkins Gilman Use The Gothic

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Compare and contrast how Sylvia Plath, Charlotte Perkins-Gilman and Edith Wharton use the gothic genre to explore society’s darkest secrets During the Enlightenment, the Gothic came to the fore of literature. An effect of Enlightenment was the accessibility of books to the whole of society; they were ‘no longer the sole purview of aristocrats and wealthy merchants’ . Stephen Bruhm has said that the Gothic presents ‘a barometer of the anxieties plaguing a certain culture at a particular moment in history’ . Acknowledging the availability of literature to the masses, and the Gothic’s ability to discuss issues ‘plaguing’ society, Plath, Gilman and Wharton use their work to explore society’s darkest secrets. Through use of personas, Plath ‘strips away the polite veneer’ . This is evident in the titular quote - a message from Plath to her mother, Aurelia - which shows her ability to be honest about society’s ignorance towards the ‘hardest things’, even to her own family. Gilman, a feminist writer, uses characters in her often satirical short stories to highlight the experiences of a woman living in an overwhelmingly patriarchal society. Her most famous story, The Yellow Wallpaper records her ‘narrow escape’ from ‘complete mental ruin’ , and, along with her other stories expounds truths about feminine injustice. Wharton looks at the relationships one man has with two women; one…show more content…
All three writers explore issues which transcend time such as incest, mental illness and the

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