The Demon Lover

Topics: World War II, English-language films, World War I Pages: 6 (2571 words) Published: November 30, 2008
The main character of this short story, Mrs. Drover, is traumatized after the Blitz, the catastrophic aerial bombardment which took place over London between 1940 and 1941. Because of her psychological instability, Mrs. Drover confuses World War II with World War I. Returning home to collect some personal belongings, she remembers her long-missing fiancé to the point where one does not know if this is a gothic story that has some supernatural happenings or simply a story of one character's neurotic mental state.[1] Critics like Daniel V. Fraustino are determined that this story is not about the trauma of World War I and World War II but a “murder mystery of high drama”[2]. It ought to be underlined that the essay you are reading is aiming to analyze "The Demon Lover" on a more psychological/psychoanalytical basis unlike what Fraustino did… Nevertheless, he is very right in last paragraph of his essay saying that this psychological interpretation having “its own kind of special appeal,”[2]). Indeed, this approach is essential to analyze this story properly not alone being appealing because Mrs. Drover in the story is not only having some homecoming and witnessing some paranormal activity aftermath; but she is also channeling with her psyche in an abandoned house and seeing the cracks in her soul. "The Demon Lover" starts on a humid August day. It is due to rain; there is a certain stress in the air and as the main character enters the street covered with clouds, one can sense that she is having this very same tension, the suppression the weather has. Thus, Mrs. Drover, a “prosaic” woman goes back to her London house “to look for several things,”[3] but what “things”? These “things” are unknown to the reader, as it is indeed unknown to Mrs. Drover herself and this is why she has a suppressed feeling around, a sense of waiting, the tension before the rain… She is indeed going there to confront the house that she had left since war has started; in some other sense she is going to face herself in the image of the house to understand what kind of damage has been done while experiencing the measure of this damage deep inside. This personification theme linked between Mrs. Drover and the house, is one of the most important elements of the story. She tries to open the door for this confrontation but the key lock is quite stiff. She has to force it and then “dead air” of this unvisited house, her unvisited portion of memories welcomes her just before setting her feet inside…[3] This door is indeed a portal of her very own past; she forces it since she hasn’t been thinking of her past but only trying to forget it because all bad memories, all the suppressed traumas are there behind this door so are the “several things”, which she returned to pick up. “Dead air” coming out to greet her shows that these memories are negative… These are especially, about the two world wars she witnessed and this house has suffered from the aerial bombardment that took over London during the war; situated on an abandoned street with its ruined neighbor houses. Mrs. Drover’s soul is one of the victims who suffered, like this empty, broken, ruined houses. Inside this personification theme follows: The “bruise” on the wall is indeed the bruise in Mrs. Drover's psyche. The scratches on parquet which the legs of the piano left while they were moving symbolizes that the joy is taken from her harshly; since piano as an instrument is seen and used as an entertainment object in that era mostly. The windows of the house have blocked, so there is no way to have some fresh air; thus a fresh start is impossible, there is no way to let go of the past and bad memories... She sees that marble mantelpiece has turned to yellow; losing its beautiful whiteness and brightness; it is matte now… Once it used to be white and its function was to warm up the house… Mantelpiece is not burning, only full of ashes… It is useless now. It is indeed like the piano taken away… It...
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