Cosmo-Gothic

The double and the single woman

in Fashioning Gothic bodies
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The doppelganger or double is a frequently noted feature of Gothic fiction. The key critical text to theorise male doubles in Gothic literature is Eve Sedgwick's Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca sets the blueprint for the twentieth-century novel of the female double. Emma Tennant's novella The Bad Sister is a rewrite of Confessions of a Justified Sinner from the perspective of a female protagonist. In Rebecca, The Bad Sister and Single White Female, clothing provides a primary mechanism through which the exploration of the doppelganger theme is produced. Single White Female is saturated with fashion discourse. The film's title implicitly suggests the threat of the double to the construct of the 'single' woman, a historically specific category of femininity brought into being by magazines like Cosmopolitan.

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