A Queer Eye for Gilman’s Text: The Yellow Wallpaper, A Film by PBS
AbstractThis article puts forward a queer interpretation of PBS’s The Yellow Wallpaper (1989), adapted from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s canonical story. It is structured in three parts: an approach to the term queer, a reading of the queerness (and feminism) of Gilman’s text and an analysis of the queer (and feminist) aspects of the film. The third part also responds to the only academic essay about PBS’s production, by Janet Beer, which ignores the movie’s queer character. This section discusses the queer treatment of topics—the instability of identity, autoeroticism, lesbian tendencies, mental illness, women’s solidarity, and gender and class inequalities—while dialoguing with film critics such as Linda Hutcheon and Laura Mulvey. The queer use of formal resources—light, shots, sound, music, symbolism and scene-motifs—is also highlighted. My ultimate aim is to demonstrate that The Yellow Wallpaper is an innovative queer adaptation of Gilman’s piece for a modern audience.Keywords: queer theory; film studies; feminist literary criticism; Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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