Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2254 words)


Shirley Jackson’s final completed novel, We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962), builds on the Gothic conventions in her previous book, The Haunting of Hill House (1959). Like Hill House, Castle is a postwar variation on the Female Gothic, which is traditionally characterized by the following motifs: a woman's entrapment within domestic space; subjection to patriarchal authority; and the transgressive and dangerous attempts to subvert and escape such restriction. As is common in Gothic texts, the home metaphorically represents the psychology of its inhabitants and the state of their relationships. Through such tropes as families haunted by past secrets, conflicts between (masculine) r…

Citation: Torres Barth, Josie. "We Have Always Lived in the Castle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 September 2017 [, accessed 02 December 2021.]

8707 We Have Always Lived in the Castle 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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