A Queer Eye for Gilman’s Text: The Yellow Wallpaper, A Film by PBS

Carolina Núñez-Puente

Abstract


This 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 

 


Full Text:

PDF

Works Cited


Ahmed, Sara. 2013. “Queer Feelings.” In Hall and Jagose 2013, 422-41.

Allen, Judith. 2009. The Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Sexualities, Histories, Progressivism. Chicago, IL: The U of Chicago P.

Allen, Paula Smith. 1999. Metamorphosis and the Feminine: A Motif of “Difference” in Women’s Writing. New York: Peter Lang.

Anzaldúa, Gloria. (1987) 2012. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute.

Ashton, Marie, dir. 1977. The Yellow Wallpaper. New York: Women Make Movies.

Becker, Susanne. 1999. Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions. Manchester: Manchester UP.

Beer, Janet. 1997. Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Studies in Short Fiction. Houndmills: MacMillan.

Belsey, Catherine and Jane Moore, eds. 1997. The Feminist Reader: Essays in Gender and the Politics of Literary Criticism. 2nd ed. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Braidotti, Rosi. 2002. Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming. Cambridge: Polity.

Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge.

—. 2004. Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge.

Clive, John, dir. 1989. The Yellow Wallpaper. Arlington: PBS.

Coll-Planas, Gerard. 2013. La carne y la metáfora. Una reflexión sobre el cuerpo en la teoría queer. Barcelona: Egales. Kindle edition.

Creed, Barbara. 1993. The Monstrous Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis. New York: Routledge.

Crewe, Jonathan. 1995. “Queering ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’?Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Politics of Form.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 14 (2): 273-93.

Diamond, Elin. 1990. “Realism and Hysteria: Toward a Feminist Mimesis.” Discourse 13 (1): 59-92.

Didi-Huberman, Georges. 2007. La invención de la histeria. Charcot y la iconografía fotográfica de la Sâlpetrière. Translated by Tania Arias and Rafael Jackson. Madrid: Cátedra.

Feldstein, Richard. 1992. “Reader, Text and Ambiguous Referentiality in ‘The Yellow Wall-paper’.” In Golden 1992, 307-18.

Felman, Shoshana. 1997. “Women and Madness: The Critical Fallacy.” In Belsey and Moore 1997, 133-53.

Fisher, Jerilyn and Ellen Silber, eds. 1988. Analyzing the Different Voice: Feminist Psychological Theory and Literary Texts. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Gaard, Greta. 1997. “Toward a Queer Ecofeminism.” Hypatia 12 (1): 114-37.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. (1892) 1992. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In Golden 1992, 24-42.

—. (1913) 2009. “Why I Wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’.” Lincoln Center Theater Review 51: 23.

Golden, Catherine, ed. 1992. The Captive Imagination: A Case Book on “The Yellow Wallpaper.” New York: The Feminist Press.

Grosz, Elizabeth. 2013. “Experimental Desire: Rethinking Queer Subjectivity.” In Hall and Jagose 2013, 194-211.

Hall, Donald and Annamarie Jagose. 2013. “Introduction: The Queer Turn.” In Hall and Jagose 2013, xiv-xx.

—, eds. 2013. The Routledge Queer Studies Reader. New York: Routledge.

Horowitz, Helen Lefkowitz. (2010) 2012. Wild Unrest: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Making of “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” Oxford: Oxford UP.

Hutcheon, Linda. 2013. A Theory of Adaptation. New York: Routledge. Jagose, Annamarie. 1997. Queer Theory: An Introduction. New York: New York UP.

Jeffreys, Sheila. (1986) 1997. The Spinster and Her Enemies: Feminism and Sexuality, 1880-1930. North Melbourne: Spinifex.

Knight, Denise, ed. 1997. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Study of the Short Fiction. New Mexico: U of New Mexico.

Kristeva, Julia. 1982. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. Translated by Leon Roudiez. New York: Columbia UP.

Kuhn, Annette. 1994. Women’s Pictures: Feminism and Cinema. New York: Verso.

Leitch, Vincent B., ed. (1976) 2010. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. New York: Norton.

MacPike, Loralee. 1992. “Environment as Psychopathological Symbolism in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’.” In Golden 1992, 137-40.

McCarthy, John, dir. Confinement. 2009. New York: Leering Buzzard Pictures.

Michaels, Walter. 1987. The Gold Standard and the Logic of Naturalism. Berkeley: U of California P.

Morton, Donald. 1996. “Dossier 4: Queer Desire.” In Morton 1996, 273-76.

—, ed. 1996. The Material Queer: A LesBiGay Cultural Studies Reader. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Mulvey, Laura. (1975) 2010. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” In Leitch (1976) 2010, 2181-92.

Nuñez-Puente, Carolina. 2006. Feminism and Dialogics: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Meridel Le Sueur, Mikhail M. Bakhtin. Valencia: Universitat de València.

Oxford English Dictionary Online. 2019a. s.v. “Queer.” [Accessed online on January 20, 2019].

—. 2019b. s.v. “Straight.” [Accessed online on January 20, 2019].

Rich, Adrienne. 1980. “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.” Signs 5 (4): 631-60.

Rogers, Annie. 1988. “The ‘I’ of Madness: Shifting Subjectivities in Girls’ and Women Psychological Development in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’.” In Fisher and Silber 1988, 45-65.

Ruhl, Sarah. 2009. In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play. New York: Samuel French.

Schöpp-Schilling, Beate. 1992. “The Yellow Wallpaper: A Rediscovered ‘Realistic’ Story.” In Golden 1992, 141-44.

Sedgwick, Eve. 1993. Tendencies. Durham, NC: Duke UP.

Showalter, Elaine. 1985. The Female Malady: Women, Madness and English Culture: 1830-1980. London: Virago.

Thomas, Logan, dir. 2012. The Yellow Wallpaper. Los Angeles, CA: Ascent Releasing Entertainment.

Veeder, William. 1988. “Who is Jane? The Intricate Feminism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman.” Arizona Quarterly 44 (3): 40-71.

Wexler, Tanya, dir. 2011. Hysteria. Beverly Hills, CA: Informant Media.

White, Barbara. 1997. [Untitled]. In Knight 1997, 197-209.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Atlantis. Journal of the Spanish Association for Anglo-American Studies
ISSN: 0210-6124 | e-ISSN: 1989-6840. © Atlantis/Aedean 2013.
Contact | Privacy Statement | Copyright notice | Journal Help| Site Map