In the Dream House Themes

Machado, Carmen Maria
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Hauntings/Haunted Houses

The author weaves the theme of haunted things throughout the memoir as a symbol of the way her abuser, along with the Dream House and everything that happened within it, affected her and continue to affect her. Even the cover image, which is undoubtedly an artist's rendering of the Dream House, looks like a haunted house, with a ghostly figure standing in its doorway and shadowy face within the second story. To be haunted by something, metaphorically speaking, is to feel as though it has infiltrated your mind and cannot be forced out, like a ghostly presence. In “Dream House as Prologue,” Machado introduces archival silence regarding queer abusive relationships as a type of haunting as well. “As we consider the forms intimate violence takes today, each new concept—the male victim, the female perpetrator, queer abusers, and the queer abused—reveals itself as another ghost...

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This section contains 2,592 words
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Buy the In the Dream House Study Guide
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