“The Demon Lover” Essay
In Elizabeth Bowen’s “The Demon Lover”, a forty-four year old woman returns to her old house to retrieve things she had to leave behind to escape from war. War is a constant theme throughout the story. War took away, what he remembers to be, her first love, and it drove her, her husband and her three sons away from their London home. In the beginning of the story, the protagonist, Mrs. Drover, is just returning to her old home from the country side. She doesn’t think anything out of order, until she sees a letter addressed to her. This was one of the first things Bowen uses to create suspense. Another thing she uses is the fact that the house is empty, but she doesn’t feel alone.
The Drovers, like several other families, had been evacuated and sent to live in the country when the war worsened. The idea of war is scary enough, and to come back to a place where you were supposed to die was probably even worse. Mrs. Drover walks in and she is immediately spooked by the emptiness of the house. “Now the prosaic woman, looking about her, was more perplexed than she knew by everything that she saw, by traces of her long former habit of life—. . . “(Bowen 1). She goes on to find open windows and doors, and when she tries to go to the basement, she feels a draft and becomes very weary, like someone is there that isn’t supposed to be.
The thing that really sets of the suspenseful mood in the story is the letter Mrs. Drover finds on the hall table. She had a caretaker look after her house when she left, and even though she doesn’t really trust him to do his job, she finds it odd that he didn’t forward the letter to her through the post office. There is an entire paragraph where Mrs. Drover tries to give good reason as to why the letter is still here. After she reads it, she is even more troubled. “Mrs. Drover looked for the date: It was today’s. She dropped the letter onto the bedsprings, then...
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