Symbolism In P. D. Cacek's The Grave

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The horror story is a uniquely interactive genre. Its main objective is to make the reader feel something, whether that be fear, anxiety, suspense, or any combination thereof. These feelings are evoked with the use of a monster, depending on the story it can be an external source, like a vampire or werewolf, or it could be something inside one of the characters, something in their psyche. In her story, “The Grave”, P.D.Cacek utilizes the literary elements of symbolism, imagery, and point of view. Cacek uses ominous symbolism to show the progression of her main character’s mental deterioration. The symbol she uses is a cold numbing feeling that travels through Elizabeth’s body, it is first presented to us when Elizabeth studies the grave for the first time, “There were no flowers on the small grave, just a thin blanket of autumn leaves. It made Elizabeth shiver just looking at it.” This is followed by her first personal declaration that, were she a mother, she…show more content…
While this first encounter is negligible upon a first read, the second time this chill is mentioned holds significantly more intensity, “Despite every effort not to, Elizabeth looked down and felt the same kind of chill that she had at the grave…a cold numbing that seeped through the layers of flesh and bone until it reached her lungs and made her gasp for air.” This chill, though presumably imagined, or at least not caused by any external force, has strong physical effects on Elizabeth, making her, “gasp for air”. With each negative statement her mother utters, the chill relocates, “The chill moved from her lungs, giving Elizabeth a chance to catch her breath, and made itself comfortable in her untouched womb.” Since Elizabeth was at a child’s grave earlier, the fact that the chill is in her womb is jarring. While the
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