Shirley Jackson’s Literary Discourse and the Allegation of Feminism as Socio-Cultural Subversion in Mid-Twentieth Century America

Revista e-scrita : Revista do Curso de Letras da UNIABEU. 2011;2(6):48-61


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Revista e-scrita : Revista do Curso de Letras da UNIABEU

ISSN: 2177-6288 (Print)

Publisher: UNIABEU

Society/Institution: UNIABEU

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Philology. Linguistics: Language. Linguistic theory. Comparative grammar

Country of publisher: Brazil

Language of fulltext: Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Gustavo Vargas Cohen


Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 53 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) managed to combine the dual role of being a woman and a writer in mid-twentieth century American society. This article seeks to unravel some of the intricacies behind this brittle balance. Despite and/or because of her condition as mother and professional her literary achievements as a chronicler of the “Age of Anxiety” were laudable and therefore worthy of further investigation. To better understand the historical experience of professional women in that context, a review of post-war US, especially regarding gender roles, ensues not only as historical background but as methodological hotbed for literary analysis. Ms. Jackson’s literary practice helped raise the charges of feminism against her under the allegation of cultural subversion and social sedition. Finally, the question of whether she was indeed a feminist is debated taking intoconsideration her literary discourse, particularly the representations of female characters as discerningly portrayed in her fictional works, correlated to her social and historical milieu.