The Haunting Of Hill House

2355 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 10 Pages
In “The Haunting of Hill House”, Jackson uses a third person point of view in order to create an ambiguous feeling during the supernatural experiences which leads to confusion of whether the novel falls under the sub-genre female gothic, or not. Jackson starts the novel with a very powerful quote: “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.” (1). That famously known quote is very ambiguous and evokes suspense. The sub-genre female gothic conventions consist of an old haunted house, mystery and suspense, supernatural experiences, women distress during a transition to adulthood or motherhood, repressed emotions, an aspect of feminism, heroic male figure, dark, and horror. The Haunting of Hill House consists of some of the female gothic conventions but lacks others. Viewing the supernatural experiences from a third person point of view allows the reader to have an insight of the situations.
Eleanor, the protagonist, undergoes a difficult childhood which cause many of her repressed feelings to be expressed through supernatural experiences that are ambiguous. She took care of her ill mother for 11 years, until she died. That affected her tremendously. For example, during Theodora’s supernatural experience, Shirley Jackson displays how Eleanor’s inner child managed to let her grow anger and jealously towards Theodora. Eleanor felt like Hill House was giving Theodora more…
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