This study will examine the emergence of a fragile, schizoid male subjectivity in American Gothic literature whose presence in domestic, or quasi-domestic, settings results in that setting becoming sentient, mutating, moving, expanding and contracting to torment the character until death or expulsion is forced upon him. At the core of my research will be Stephen King's The Shining, Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves and Steve Rasnic Tem's Deadfall Hotel. I will be referencing the works of Derrida, R.D. Laing, Foucault, Badiou and Bachelard to identify the reasons for the development of this narrative trope from the 1970s and its proliferation post-2000 and explore the contemporary anxieties of the American male it represents.
This thesis sets out to investigate the ways in which Gothic depictions of contagion mediate public perceptions about health, wellbeing and community at key moments of crisis in the evolution of capitalism.
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