For Thursday, let’s talk about Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wall Paper.”
Though the story seems very different – – in genre, form, and content – -from Adams and Du Boise, think about any similarities you might see among these texts.
Here’s one that I’m still trying to clarify: Du Bois discusses the “unasked question” that informs and structures all conversations across the “color line” in America. Could we say that this invisible reality “haunts” American speech and communication? I.e. that in a racialized society and culture, the specter of race flits in and out of many, many interactions, conversations, and actions? In fact, perhaps a la Du Bois, these conversations etc. are actual ghosts, veiling and deferring social reality. Gilman’s short story appears to be about psychological (perhaps even supernatural) dysfunction. However what if the story – – like Du Bois’s “unasked question” – – is really a way of talking about something by not talking about it?