The Demon Lover Essay

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In the following essay, Fraustino disputes the argument that Mrs. Drover is insane, stating that the story is a murder mystery.

In a major article on Elizabeth Bowen's "The Demon Lover," Douglass A. Hughes dismisses the popular ghost-story interpretation and advances his own psychological one. The story, he says, is "a masterful dramatization of acute psychological delusion, of the culmination of paranoia in a time of war.... War, not a vengeful lover, is the demon that overwhelms this rueful woman" [Studies in Short Fiction, 10 (1973)]. To support his argument, Hughes maintains that "the narrator subtly but clearly indicates why the forty-four year-old woman suddenly loses her tenuous hold on reality . . . and succumbs to madness." His argument rests on three major premises: that as a young girl Mrs. Drover suffered a "severe nervous breakdown" from which she never fully recovered; that her visit to her war-ravaged home occasions a...

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This section contains 2,125 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Demon Lover Study Guide
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The Demon Lover from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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