One of Davison’s central claims is that Gilman’s story embodies a sub-genre of the Gothic known as the Female Gothic. Track Davison’s explanation of this sub-genre. What are its aims and conventions? How does it differ from the traditional Gothic?
This essay serves a dual purpose in that it not only provides a crisp analysis of “The Yellow Wallpaper” and the Female Gothic but also gives a powerhouse survey of the American Gothic tradition. You aren’t responsible for knowing all the ins and outs of American Gothic fiction, but you should try to get the contours that take shape in Davison’s piece. What does she mean when she says Gilman’s text is “haunted by [the male Gothic tradition in America]”?
What are some characteristics of the way domestic spaces work in the Female Gothic, according to Davison? How do characters interact with these spaces?
If, as Goddu argues, the Gothic is often a means to work through cultural anxieties, what sort of anxieties does the Female Gothic work though? What are its primary concerns?
Pay close attention to Davison’s reading of the text. How does she read the room our unnamed narrator stays in? How does she read Dr. John?