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Let's discuss "Haunting of Hill House"
I've never really made up my mind on whether the house was haunted or not, mostly because Eleanor's psychology is (to me) the real mystery. Let's put it this way: Eleanor is more haunted than the house, even if the house is haunted!

I do think it's a place that is "not good." Whether there were actually ghosts haunting it, I don't know (and I'm not sure Jackson knew, either), but I do think she set out to create a place that had an aura of evil and darkness. By putting Eleanor in such a place, her inevitable breakdown was sped up.

Maybe Eleanor was responsible for everything: the banging, the soiled room, etc. After all, she did have telekinetic ability as seen by the shower of stones that fell on her house when she was young. Perhaps there was psychic phenomena going on in the house--but it was all Eleanor.

I think the ambiguity of it all is one of the most fascinating things about the novel.

Also, one thing that no film or play version has done is to do the scene outdoors, when Theo and Eleanor go for a walk. I found that scene strangely frightening. It works on a very subtle level and suggests that (since the characters were outside the house) that a) the grounds were haunted as well or b) it's evidence that the "haunting" is all Eleanor-created, since they aren't in the house when this happens.

Shirley Jackson is one of my favorite writers. Ambiguity is a big theme in her work, but I don't find it frustrating. Instead, it's endlessly fascinating.

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RE: Let's discuss "Haunting of Hill House" - by maisonvivante - 11-12-2007, 09:05 PM

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