Abstract

This essay examines Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s Newbery Honor Book The Witches of Worm and the initial trilogy of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s The Witch’s Sister saga to uncover how they explore cultural fears related to the changing maternal roles of women in the 1970s via the trope of the “gothic” child. While images of possessed or evil children in other works of the same period signal the failure and abject status of mothers, these novels use the trope to reflect on mother-daughter relations and female development in ways that challenge processes of maternal abjection and destabilize normative images of motherhood.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-1201
Print ISSN
0885-0429
Pages
pp. 68-87
Launched on MUSE
2014-03-06
Open Access
No
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