The Night of the Hunter: Chilling and Disturbing

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“The Night of the Hunter”
Anna N. Beach
Paper #1
March 7, 2011

“The Night of The Hunter” is a thriller written by Davis Grubb in 1953. It is imaginably chilling and disturbing. The book is based upon a true story of a frightening man who was hung for murdering two women and three children. One of the main characters portrayed as the murderer, plays the role of Harry Powell, who was just released from prison, but describes himself as a man of God, and a preacher of the word. His psychotic inclinations lead him to a journey of a desperate pursuit of money, left behind by his prison mate Ben Harper. The story leads to an anticipating tale, of a dream-like fantasy. Written to be an adult novel the two main characters, John and Pearl, are children, who wish with everything they have to save the undisclosed money, which was so important to their father to remain a secret.

John the clever 9 year old son of Willa Harper, changes vividly from the beginning to the end of the novel. In the beginning, after his father was hung, he seemed lonely, scared, and reluctant. He didn’t talk much, and didn’t trust anyone. As the story went on, John continued to be discreet, but began to take on an independent, role-model approach, especially to his younger 4 year old sister, Pearl. After his mother was killed by preacher Harry Powell, he started to take on a parental role. He took Pearl and escaped from the killer. He became the authoritative character and role model. As the novel continued, John and Pearl wandered upon a lady named Rachel, who took them in, clothed, fed them and took them as her own. John’s trust for people still remained unhealed, and it took a lot of scarring over before he was able to trust Rachel. But as time progressed he became more relaxed and comfortable. He was able to step down as the independent role model, and become a child again, who could love someone and be loved in return.

This novel teaches about children and how they heal with...
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