Eleanor life is characterized by numerous challenges that happen because of her mother. She has a difficult responsibility of taking care of her ailing mother without any help from the society. She leads a strange life blending with people that sees her outcast in the society as she has grown with the attitude that people hate them because they do not mix with them.
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She later learns that her mother defied the society norms, and that is the reason that the society abandoned her. Others believe that perhaps that is the reason that she is ailing. Even though, Eleanor is aware of the existence of the social norms, she never knew their significance because she was never into them. After she drives into the Hill House, at first, she is not certain about her identity in the society, and she thinks that in the Hill house, she might experience some difference.
She enters the house and her life changes, she starts seeing things in a completely different way and after contemplating on her relationship with the society, and she has no option, but to become a witch. Her death is mysterious as other character restores their lives back. It is true that many critics and readers believe that, in the end, Hill House consumes Eleanor and she willingly allows this to happen.
Hill House consumes Eleanor
Eleanor mother’s poor health deprived Eleanor more than just her precious moment. The main reason that Eleanor rides forth to the house is an event that happened when she was young that certainly integrated some kind of supernatural manifestations. Despite of the situation, Eleanor tells Dr. Montague afterward in the story that she cannot clearly recall her mother claimed that the neighbors never appreciated them, and that was the reason that she would never mix with them (Jackson 73).
The reader learns that, Eleanor and her sister “had supposed at the time that the other was responsible” for the supernatural incident (Jackson 7). This incident although, Dr. Montague reassures Eleanor that the event is long forgotten, means the incident must have had a negative impact on Eleanor’s’ family and, certainly did not affect Eleanor’s personality (Jackson 74). She is still uncertain whether she will ever be accepted in the society after her mother defying the social norms. It is difficult to face the reality in order to fight the stigma from the society.
However, that is the only way out if she has to survive in the society. From the start, Eleanor grew up with a mother who was against the society’s norms. Perhaps the ailing mother suffered out of her ignorance to the societal norms, and Eleanor suffers because of her mother. The journey to the Hill House is move that Eleanor fails tom resist.
At one point, he thinks it is the right call for her to make, considering her relationship with the society and at another point, he wrestles with that spirit that pushes her to accept the invitation into the house. It becomes almost impossible for her to make a decision. From the onset of the book, Eleanor is in a dilemma. Even though, there are some characters in the Hill House that accepts to be part of the Hill house that does not mean that Eleanor should be inclusive.
As opposed to Eleanor, the four characters have weird characters and perhaps that is the reason they feel comfortable being part of the Hill House. For instance Luke, despite being an heir of the house, steals from his aunt. Theodora too, an artist by profession is a lesbian. Doctor Montague, although a scholar, has an interest in the occult. This shows that, even though it is difficult to accept these characters within the social culture, they are better off than Eleanor, who cannot face the society. To worsen the matter, Eleanor is homeless, and this secludes her from the rests of Jackson’s characters. Theodora engages into a conflict in the Hill House, but she cannot return, she remains there.
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The house has already consumed her. In depicting a homestead setting far from the Hill House, Jackson reveals to the reader that Dr. Montague is a family man and in the later chapters, we see his wife cleaning dishes together with Mrs. Dudley in Hill House, and this shows a kind of familiarity. Similarly, Dudley and her family own a house in town (Jackson 39) which keeps them safe from the house during late night hours.
Moreover, Luke Sanderson could say that he owned the house, but he never took care of it. Luke is an affluent man, and he could buy the house, but it is not clear why he does not have one. Instead of accepting her situation and predicaments in life, for instance, being homeless, Eleanor says that she has a home. She is aware of the social values, even though she has never been deep into them.
Hill house is a strange house as depicted in the previous discussions. When Eleanor accepts to be consumed by the house, she turns out to be an outsider. The House consumes Eleanor, and it blends both her fear and attraction of the House. She is lured into mysterious place, and she becomes interstitial that her pas life when she enters the house. Eleanor fits neither with her friends, nor in the society, and she turns out to be outrageous. The society rejects her , she turns to be a fringe member, and she does not have an option, but to fit into the skin of a witch.
The five characters in the house have their differences, but Eleanor believes that with time they will adopt tom each other’s behavior (Jackson 58). She anticipates that sooner they will be a friend, and Theodora, affectionately refers to her as a cousin. They lived in the house as one family and even shared meals together. However, some scholars look at this situation in a different perspective, for instance, Tricia Lootens, “in Whose Hand I Was holding”, says that the characters live together as one family.
However, Lootens is not certain about the continuity of this group and she cites this as “terror of [Jackson’s] entire culture”: the “brutal, inexorable visionâ€¦of nuclear families that kill what they are supposed to nurture” (151). Even though, Lootens believes that the group has a hidden agenda of ruining each other’s life, I refute with her perception. The characters are in harmony with one another, and there is no sense or fear between them. Eleanor is the one who is undisputed and seems rejected and deserted. This is evidenced at the novel closes its chapters, whereby Theo, Luke, and Dr. Montague observe Eleanor and she distances herself from the Hill House. Jackson mentions about the death of Eleanor and the other characters going back to their normal lives.
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