Something that we cannot rationalize or understand
Something that we cannot rationalize or understand. It could be the people of the past coming back to haunt the living. Darryl Jones states, “that Ghosts are condemned to walk the earth because they are excluded from the divine, barred entrance to heaven” (Jones 78.) Hill House displays examples of the supernatural and the Ghosts are an extensions of one's imagination and seffects it has on its occupants. Spirits and ghost do not haunt Hill House. although it may seem possessed, this house is unique in the way it was designed to have mysterious doors without keys and uneven stairs that make you nauseated when you walk up them. Hill House is a never ending maze designed to confuse you regardless of your knowledge of the house. In The Haunting of Hill House, there is a constant battle between the supernatural and reality within the characters minds. Supernatural is something that is completely unnatural that science cannot explain or rationalize.
In the book, Haunting of Hill House the supernatural feelings begin with the novel stating, “The house is watching every move you make” (Jackson 170.) This is an example of the house being alive which personifies an inanimate object that cannot be explained. The supernatural part about this is that the house appears to be caused by things that happened in the past life of the house. The house is psychologically terrifying because it delves into each characters minds manifesting their worst nightmares causing emotional issues. This house was simply designed to to make supernatural experiences appear to happen. Jackson states, “No living organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality even larks and katydid are supposed by some to dream” Hill House stood by itself against its hill for eighty years holding darkness and might stand for eighty more” ( Jackson 1.) Hill House has years experience tricking people, the house was designed to confuse people and will always confuse people so long as it stands, although hill house does not have that much of a effect on certain people such as Luke Sanderson. He seems to not really be affected by what's going on in the house. He experienced things first hand but, the reason Luke does not feel emotions is because he is at Hill House for one reason, and that reason is to make money with some kind of valuable item he can get his hands on. The mindset each of character plays a vital role on how the house affects them. This leads to the question of reliability between the characters because most of the story is narrated through Eleanor's point of view so does this make Eleanor's unreliable because of her mental state.
Eleanor Vance the protagonist of the story was greatly affected by the house, although she was really scared of the house when she first arrived. After being there each day, she became more comfortable in the house it seems to have connected to her, feeding off of her emotions. Every day and night Eleanor has some kind of experience with the house causing her to completely lose her grip on reality. Jackson states in the book, “the journey was her positive action, her destination vague, unimagined, perhaps nonexistent”( Jackson 49.) The reason behind eleanors total loss of reality is because she was mentally weak she has alway been. Second in life, she was never first because she had to take care of her mother for eleven years of her life and never had time for herself. Now since her mother has died, she is in search for a purpose and hill house was a good way to get started on the right track to finding her true intention. Eleanor is a dreamer stuck inside the confines of her reality versus her non reality and that casts her as a great target for the house to attack because she is mostly set on fantasy and wants to badly escape her reality. Hill House plays a supernatural role as a predator that slowly manipulates its prey into a trap, with Eleanor being the prey. Jackson states, “There was complete silence and eleanor thought, standing with her face to the door, now i've done it; it was looking for a room with someone inside” (Jackson 95.) This is a example of how the house is literally trying to find Eleanor. She shows that she is a weak minded person because of how open she is to the house. Which in turn reveals that she is not a reliable source for believable information. This ultimately makes her completely useless in Dr. Montagues study of the supernatural.
Dr. Montagues plays almost a fatherly figure throughout the book all of the characters come to him for advice or if they have any questions about the experiment. He sees how Eleanor is reacting to the house and what's to know more. Jackson states, “Dr Montagues was a man of science and until he had actually experienced a psychic manifestation in hill house he would not trust his luck” (Jackson 2.) Although Dr. Montagues is a sceptice he believes in the supernatural but he has to have concrete evidence in order to truly believe in something because he is a scientist, so this is a example of how the mindset of a individual can make a difference although he was sceptical he was open to possible supernatural experiences and he was willing to do what is necessary in order to get some evidence in some ways he is selfish with it because he is basically conducting experiments on the people he invited to the house. the house affected Dr. montague different from the affect the house had on eleanor. Dr. Montague was mostly fixated on the experiment fascinated with how everything works he had not taking his experience as personal as Eleanor took the experiences. Eleanor took this experience to heart and was changed as a person she became almost a living version of the house. Dr. Montagues never really gets off track of the main goal in the experiment until he realizes that eleanor is has completely lost her mind and sense of reality. Then he stops having such a selfish view on the experiment and takes a more personal approach because he was concerned on the safety of Eleanor.
In conclusion, Hill House is selective on who it will chooses to get inside their mind while making the person psychologically unstable and consumes the person from the inside out. The house uses tricks to slowly make its victim go insane in a uncanny way. Eleanor was the main victim of Hill House because she did not have structure to her previous life prior to coming to Hill House. The house attaches itself to the weakest link and uses there emotional weaknesses to make them have purpose Jones states, “ There should be in principle something comforting about the appearance of ghost” (Jones 76.) Throughout the story, Eleanor slowly found more comfort in the supernatural and less comfort in reality. The house does not seem to affect all the characters like Eleanor. Luke Sanderson came to house with a stronger mindset and was not open to the ways of the house it appeared that the house didn't bother him at all.
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