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The Haunting of Hill House

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The Haunting of Hill House
The Liberating Appeal of Cars I choose to interpret the representation of cars in The Haunting of Hill House. In this novel, a car is first represented as a means of control over Eleanor by her sister (Jackson 7). However, Eleanor’s stealing of the car transforms the car into a representation of freedom from her present life (Jackson 10). The car allows Eleanor to be free of her controlled life and to begin her own journey (Jackson 10). We observe the same car at the conclusion of the novel as a device used to free herself from her forced departure of Hill House (Jackson 178). She uses the car to commit suicide, allowing her to stay at Hill House indefinitely (Jackson 182). I argue that in the novel the car is utilized for control over Eleanor but ultimately for her personal freedom. The car is what liberates Eleanor from her life prior to Hill House and also from her forced departure. I will also argue that the significance of Eleanor’s car being used for freedom is that it shows the transformation of Eleanor’s mental state. The difference in Eleanor’s idea of freedom, travel versus suicide, makes the demise of Eleanor’s mental state evident. The car is first introduced in an argument of its ownership between Eleanor and her sister (Jackson 6). The fight reveals the strong level of control that Eleanor’s sister and brother-in-law possess over Eleanor’s life (Jackson 7). Carrie’s attempt of control over Eleanor is demonstrated by Carrie’s speech when she exclaims, “We don’t know where you’re going, do we? You haven’t seen fit to tell us very much about all this, have you? I don’t think I can see my way clear to letting you borrow my car” (Jackson 7). This quote shows Carrie’s unhappiness with Eleanor’s refusal to share the details of her upcoming journey. Subsequently, Carrie then clearly denies Eleanor the use of the car. This denial grants Carrie a level of control over Eleanor’s journey because it would be much more difficult for her to travel

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