The Night of the Hunter Essay

956 Words Jun 30th, 2011 4 Pages
“The Night of the Hunter”
Anna N. Beach
Paper #1
March 7, 2011



“The Night of The Hunter” is a thriller written by Davis Grubb in 1953. It is imaginably chilling and disturbing. The book is based upon a true story of a frightening man who was hung for murdering two women and three children. One of the main characters portrayed as the murderer, plays the role of Harry Powell, who was just released from prison, but describes himself as a man of God, and a preacher of the word. His psychotic inclinations lead him to a journey of a desperate pursuit of money, left behind by his prison mate Ben Harper. The story leads to an anticipating tale, of a dream-like fantasy. Written to be an adult novel the two main characters, John and Pearl,
…show more content…
John nearly shut down and shut out all who were against him. He focused on what was important, which was his and Pearl’s survival. Pearl on the other hand, being only 4 years old lived as though nothing was wrong. She was very naive, and didn’t understand what was happening; she lived in her own imaginary world.
Although, John and Pearl play extremely important roles in the novel, there are other characters that bring together the story and are important to the overall theme. Harry Powell, the preacher, is disturbing. He was a mass murderer who killed women for money. His psychotic mind led him to believe that God was telling him to commit the crimes. He was conniving and immoral. He tricked people into believing that he was a righteous man, who obeyed by the laws of the bible.
Willa, John and Pearls mother, was gullible and influenced easily. She was very trusting of Harry Powell’s word, and refused to believe anyone else but him. She wanted nothing but to impress him. She felt that he would be a great father figure to the children. Her trust in Harry Powell leads her to her death.
Another character in the story, Rachel, a tough, resolute individual, believed in defending herself and others she cared about especially those such as John, and Pearl. Deep down at heart, even though she seemed calloused, she was a gentle, considerate woman, with great concern for her children that…