INTRODUCTION An evil house, the kind of some people call haunted is like an undiscovered country waiting to be explored. Hill House has stood by itself for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. The walls standing straight, bricks neatly, floors firm and the doors sensibly closed; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.
The Haunting of Hill House is a ghost novel, which is written by Shirley Jackson and printed in 1959. In it, four researchers, Dr. Montague, Eleanor Vance, Theodora, and Luke Sanderson spent their summer time in a haunted house, called Hill House, to find out the cause and effects of psychic disturbances. In that place, after a series of supernatural and horrible things: door being pound harshly, the red paint in Theo’s room, the messages from the Ouija-like planchette, v.v… Eleanor, whose the weakest and the most sensitive mind out of four, had her conscious surrender Hill House and tried to go “home”, which is her mother’s womb by suicide. Through the novel, Eleanor Vance had shown her only true desire and lack of is her mother’s love.
The house symbolizes that Ann is trapped and caged by her circumstances, she is unhappy and seeks interaction with people. She is married, but her husband, John, spends the majority of his time working. “He wanted a mortgage-free farm; then a new house and pretty clothes for her.” John feels that to lead a fulfilling life he has to achieve these goals, John’s ideals conflict with Ann’s values; She wants to spend time together and enjoy each other’s presence while they are still young. On the other hand, John feels that his duty in life is to provide for Ann and constantly works to attain his objectives.
She recollects an episode in which at the age of 16 or 17 she randomly decided to leave school and walk home, and while she walked, the houses surrounding her suddenly began to appear “very ominous and foreboding”. She began to think that the houses
Emily’s house is described as “lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay” (451) and “an eyesore among eyesores” (451). Her house is from the Old South and is outdated compared to the rest of the buildings in the town, but she refuses to change anything with the house, leaving it to decay with her. The street that her house is on “had once been our most select street” (451), but now everything has changed around her house and her house is the only thing remaining from the Old South on the street. Industrialism is occurring around this time and is changing the town, but she refuses to change her house to match with the New South. On the same street as her house, “garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily’s house was left” (451).
The house is far from town and is a set off from the main road. “The house … is enclosed ‘with red geraniums close-banked around it as high as the windows,’ and the garden where she grows her flowers is surrounded by a wire fence” (“The Chrysanthemums” 62). A random man drives up to the Allen property where Elisa is and asks for directions, but he ends up carrying on a conversation with her. Some critiques believe that ranch where Elisa lives, does not symbolize confinement. “She clearly is not always confined to the ranch, since she gives directions to the man” (“The Chrysanthemums” 62).
We can interpret undoubtedly, that Jeanette has a positive attitude. Jeanette explains that the houses were “shabbier” than the ones in the valley, she isn’t direct in her meaning but what exbiting is a responds to her life then. She is using her words to display her connection with herself, and what she feels. This strategy has stimulated not only extreme detail, but also amplify the writer’s
Reading a horror novel allows the reader to become a part of the story. A major part of the fear caused by Hill House is the uncertainty of what the house wants. The novel used suspense to engage the reader, and make them wonder when the next haunting would be and wonder how much worse the hauntings would become. The ending of Haunting of Hill House leaves the reader to decide what actually happened to Eleanor. The reader hears most the thoughts Eleanor has, and the reader becomes invested in her sanity.
The previous lavishness of the “big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies…set on what had once been [the] most select street” (437) indicates that Emily came from a well-off family that was probably highly respected. The whiteness of the house can be taken to symbolize the innocence of her youth, and that as she got older her macabre habits manifested themselves and polluted that innocence, leaving the house dingy and tainted. The condition of the house when Emily dies is that of a worn down vestige to the past, “an eyesore among eyesores” (437), representing how the towns people saw her. She was a curiosity, a clandestine entity that could only be unraveled after her death when there was no one left to safe guard the dark secrets of her house. The house stands as a monument to a lost time and a testament to tradition that has no place in the modern era, much like Emily
This is effective because it causes readers to question their own house on who lived there, what happened in the house, and was her house haunted or visited by someone that lived there. One example is when the
Bedrooms are representative of laziness, they are a place for sleeping and are associated with not wanting to do anything. Not many activities can be done in the kitchen, it’s sole purpose is a place to make and eat food, thus it is representative of gluttony. Yet another human quality that is viewed as unideal. She continues to describe what is on the map, “In the legend are instructions on the language of the land, how it/ was we forgot to acknowledge the gift, as if we were not in it or of it” (8-9).
George and Lydia start to see the house as a problem, but on the other hand, the children are so spoiled that they see no problem with the smart home. The children come to be so dependant on the nursery, they begin to think of it as being alive. “‘Don’t let them do it!’ wailed Peter at the ceiling, as if he were talking to the house..” This is one example of the children treating the house as if it were a human being.
The house is really the only "character" in this story. We sympathize with the house just like we would with a human (or Martian) character, because Bradbury describes it like one: it has a skeleton, skin, and nerves . It even has a personality: it does things "carefully" and has "an old-maidenly preoccupation with self-protection". So we relate to the house as if it were a person, but do we like it?
Gothic Literature is a type of literature that makes the reader question reality. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a good of gothic literature because it is placed in an old spooky house. For example, in the story the house has “eyelike windows”(14). This proves that the house is a part of gothic literature because it has a spooky theme to the house.