The Demon Lover Essay

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In the following essay, Hughes questions the common reading of "The Demon Lover" as a ghost story, arguing instead that it is a "pathetic psychological drama."

In a recent study of Elizabeth Bowen, Allan E. Austin has written, "'The Demon Lover' is a ghost story that builds up and then culminates like an Alfred Hitchcock movie" [Elizabeth Bowen, 1971]. This misreading of Miss Bowen's unforgettable story is, to judge from my experience with student interpretations, fairly common. Far from being a supernatural story, "The Demon Lover" is a masterful dramatization of acute psychological delusion, of the culmination of paranoia in a time of war. Because the narrative point of view is restricted to that of the patently disturbed protagonist, Mrs. Kathleen Drover, some readers may see, as the character herself certainly does, the ominous return of a ghostly lover. But in contrast to Mrs. Drover's irrational belief that...

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This section contains 1,619 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Demon Lover Study Guide
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