The Dollhouse and Mobility of the Southern Gothic Legacy in Sharp Objects


  • Veronika Klusáková FAMU Prague



Sharp Objects, dollhouse, haunted houses, Southern Gothic TV, toxicity, Gillian Flynn, mise-en-scene, trauma


The text explores several issues connected to the relationship between the gothic house and its miniature double, a dollhouse, on the example of a Southern Gothic TV series Sharp Objects, an HBO production from 2018. It addresses their similar position as gendered spaces (the house being a profoundly feminine business, the dollhouse a field for girls to practice femininity), their gothicization (both host traumas and secrets of the past), and the work they perform in the perpetuation of their Gothic legacy. The foregrounding of mobility and agency in the treatment of the gothic dollhouse helps to question and reread one of the basic building blocks of Southern Gothic fiction: its reliance on the sense of place. In this view, the dollhouse operates as an interface between the world outside and inside and thus dissolves the boundaries set by the master house. It is not just its mirror image, propelling a mise-en-abîme project of perpetual proliferation, but, when properly noticed, provides a tool for the healing of past wounds and traumas via their contemporary embodiments, and sets new directions for the social relevance of Southern Gothic fiction.


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How to Cite

Klusáková, V. (2023). The Dollhouse and Mobility of the Southern Gothic Legacy in Sharp Objects. REDEN. Revista Española De Estudios Norteamericanos, 5(1), 147–162.