[sic] (Dec 2017)

Monstrous Domesticity – Home as a Site of Oppression in Crimson Peak

  • Emilia Musap

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 1


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This paper begins by offering a brief overview of the popular culture narrative Crimson Peak (2015), directed by Guillermo del Toro. The analysis focuses on the most compelling Gothic trope del Toro reintroduces, the proverbial mansion, simultaneously displaying Freud’s heimlich and unheimlich elements, oppressing and liberating its inhabitants. Since the narrative revolves around two female protagonists, Lucille Sharpe and Edith Cushing, the paper also refers to feminist socio-cultural perspectives on space, primarily Gillian Rose’s and Shelley Mallett’s, in order to understand the position of the two protagonists within the decidedly Gothic space. This paper aims to emphasize that Lucille’s liberation as the mistress of the house is illusory regardless of the fact that she is represented as the embodiment of domestic corruption. It is precisely because she is a sexually active woman and a disruptor of the patriarchal order that she must ultimately be punished. Even though del Toro subverts the traditional image of the madwoman in the attic by positioning her at the center of the narrative, Allerdale Hall does not reveal itself as a space of female empowerment.