“She Left the Window”: Challenging Domestic Ethos in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White

“She Left the Window”: Challenging Domestic Ethos in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White

Peitho Volume 21 Issue 1 Fall/Winter 2018

Author(s): Rachael Zeleny

Abstract: Historically, literary critics have considered Wilkie Collins’s Woman in White as yet another example of a novel that tentatively endorses alternate versions of acceptable femininity but ultimately confines women within the traditionally confines of domesticity by the novel’s close. To draw such a conclusion, however, would be to overlook Collins’s intertextual relationship with artists and paintings of this time. By employing the lens of visual rhetoric, a reader has a better understanding of how Collins uses Marian Halcombe’s proximity to windows throughout the novel as a means for challenging domestic ethos to the very last page.

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