Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 66 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Mary Valentis

Committee Members

Rae L Muhlstock


Horror tales, Abjection in literature, Abjection in motion pictures, Women, Oppression (Psychology)

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


Women live and lead pathologized lives, as evidenced by past diagnoses of women’s disorders like “hysteria” and more modern issues surrounding beliefs in women’s hormones and biological inferiority. In analyzing women’s relationships with a wider male society and the role Kristevean abjection takes in patriarchal views on women’s minds and bodies, I aim to show how female characters in horror fiction – namely Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Ari Aster’s 2019 film, Midsommar – take that abject view and reclaim it for their own power. Through this reclamation, women are able to gain control from patriarchal oppression, demonstrating that male created feminine ideals are a form of oppression, that women can obtain freedom from through abject forces.