Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chelsea Wessels

Committee Members

Scott Honeycutt, Phyllis Thompson


This thesis explores trauma related to hysteria through themes of confinement, isolation, and motherhood in the works “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892) by Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, The Haunting of Hill House (1959) by Shirley Jackson, and The Babadook (2014) directed by Jennifer Kent. Hysteria is explored first as a diagnosis and then as a weaponized term meant to keep women facing isolation and grief in a continuous state of oppression. The gothic and gothic horror genres display these themes through the dark nature of the human mind, which is vital in understanding the stories of the female characters discussed and the traumas they face. The setting of the home is used to acknowledge women’s oppression related to trauma as it is a domestic setting that is known for confining women, particularly when trauma is explored through hysteria and the rest cure, the basis in which hysteria and isolation is explored.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by Molly Holdway