Haunting Of The Hill House
Pointed arch, ribbed vault and flying buttress are just three of the many elements that makes a space gothic. Imagine being stuck in a place with these elements or even staying the night. An experience like that would surely drive a person mad or just change their personality and their interactions as a whole, wether its with people or themselves. We can see this in Shirly Jackson “the haunting of the hill house”.
The main protagonist Eleanor can be seen as someone influenced by a gothic space. When we were first introduced to her, she was stuck taking care of her mother for 11 years. After her mom passed she received an invitation to the hill house. At the very moment she arrived she senses evil coming from the house. Now when we talk about a gothic space informing a characters action, the hill house fits this perfectly. The house literally speaks to Eleanor like its alive. For example when there was mysterious writing on the wall written in blood. “Can you read it?” Luke asked softly, and the doctor, moving his flashlight, read slowly: HELP ELEANOR COME HOME. No. And Eleanor felt the words stop in her throat; she had seen her name as the doctor read it. It is me, she thought. It is my name standing out there so clearly; I should not be on the walls of this house. “Wipe it off, please ,”(6;5) . When Eleanor sees this she becomes more frightened then she did when she arrived. So how can a woman who fears this place so much would want to stay after everything? The house basically changed Eleanor from a fearful person ,who felt trapped all her life and looking for freedom, to a fearless and deranged person. “They waved back at her dutifully, standing still, watching her. They will watch me down the drive as far as they can see, she thought; it is only civil for them to look at me until I am out of sight; But I won’t go, she thought, and just by telling me to go away they can’t make me leave, not if Hill House means me to stay. “Go away, Eleanor,” she chanted aloud, “go away, Eleanor, we don’t want you any more, not inour Hill House, go away, Eleanor, you can’t stayhere ; but I can,” she sang, “but I can;they don’t make the rules aroundhere . They can’t turn me out or shut me out or laugh at me or hide from me; I won’t go, and Hill House belongs to me ” (9;9). Eleanor goes from fearing the house to not wanting to leave. whatever haunted the house basically changed her and attracted her to it.
The hill house is, without a doubt, haunted. Based on the wikipedia definition, A haunted house is a house where supernatural events are believed to take place. It can contain ghosts or spirits of dead people. Based on my opinion, I would say that the events that took place in the house was more marvelous and uncanny than anything else. “Hill House itself, not sane, stood against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, its walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone” (9;9). This brief description of the home is a perfect representation of something uncanny. usually when we think of haunted houses we think of dirty moldy walls, darkness, and weird sounds. the hill house was described as a place that holds darkness yet the interior is neat and well built. Whats more mysterious and extraordinary then a clean home haunted by something paranormal. “
Even though the hill house is a scary, unsettling place Eleanor doesn’t want to leave, why? there were a few instances that reminded Eleanor of the home and her mother that she wanted to escape from. wether it was a noise or a paranormal event. for example, Coming, mother, coming,” Eleanor said, fumbling for the light. “It’s all right, I’m coming.”Eleanor , she heard,Eleanor . “Coming, coming,” she shouted irritably, “just a minute , I’mcoming Then she thought, with a crashing shock which brought her awake, cold and shivering, out of bed and awake:I am in Hill House.”(4;6). This quote is significant because Eleanors mother died and she became so used to taking care of her she started to hear her voice. I feel like this represents gothic homesickness because even though her mother passed away she still feels anxious about helping her. she still felt like she was at home when in reality she was still at the hill house.
in conclusion, the haunting of the hill house depicted many gothic elements such as gothic architecture, uncanny, gothic homesickness, and marvelous. The house changed Eleanor so much with its mysterious and extraordinary aspects. she went from a person that felt trapped and fearful to a person who actually fell in love with the thing she feared the most. The hill house.