Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

English

Advisor

Dr. Erin Goss

Committee Member

Dr. Sean Morey

Committee Member

Dr. Travers Scott

Abstract

When Stephen King published his debut novel Carrie in a post Roe v. Wade America in 1974, a narrative about a young girl with telekinesis captured the fear of what was to come from women with power. In response to the burgeoning women’s movement of the 1970s, King’s novel culminates as a heightened expression of the cultural damage a sexually liberated woman with choice could cause. Brian De Palma’s 1976 film adaptation of the novel follows suit, extending a fear of women with choice by employing the cinematic male gaze to reclaim the right to objectify women. By emphasizing cosmetic application and an invasive display of private spaces occupied by women, De Palma’s film argues that women are to incite male pleasure through material performances of femininity, not to take ownership of their bodies and in turn their identities.

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