Trapped and Silenced: Claustrophobic Fear in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Handmaid’s Tale

Fanghui WANG


This paper is to explore women’s fear in the two renowned texts, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) and The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), written respectively by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Margaret Atwood. In the two texts, two protagonists, Jane and Offred, share the same fear of being governed and imprisoned by patriarchal authority, a claustrophobic fear of being cut off and segregated, which is mainly reflected in two aspects: trapped in the “room”, and silenced voice. Their respective struggles and resistances would be analyzed as well.

Key words: Claustrophobic fear; Space and room; Silenced voice


Claustrophobic fear; Space and room; Silenced voice


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