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Unsettling Language in Elizabeth Bowen's The Demon Lover Essay

Project id 1000479
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 2826
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Unsettling Speech in Elizabeth Bowen's The Demon Lover Elizabeth Bowen retells a popular folk story in her short story, "The Demon Lover." The name implies that the storyline consists of a woman being faced by a demon lover in the past. Bowen does not stray away from this original narrative. Instead of creativity, Bowen's prose relies on the use of subtleties to keep the story interesting. The story's subtleties feed us inquiries that always catch our attention. Bowen instantly starts to create a feeling of uneasiness in the first paragraph. As Mrs. Drover, the protagonist, strolls toward her London house, "an unfamiliar queerness'd silted up; a cat wove itself in and out of railings, although no human attention saw Mrs. Drover's yield" (36). The writer's use of this phrase "queerness" sets the reader on guard to get something from the normal. She then follows it by the description of a cat-a mysterious creature-wondering farther down the road with no regard to any passersby. The phrase "no human eye watched" seems to be overstating the situation. Instead of merely saying that nothing had been seeing Mrs. Drover, the writer chose to say that no human was seeing her. We are led to wonder whether the cat was the only non-human watching her or never. And, if not, what else was watching her? The feeling of uncanny continues during the upcoming paragraphs. The home Mrs. Drover passes is given characteristics that indicate that it is living. There is a "bruise at the wallpaper" plus also a piano "had left what looked like claw-marks" (36). On their own, these descriptions would not have generated uneasiness. However, the house that bruises and furniture that leaves claw-marks lead to the feeling of uneasiness that had already started to develop. W.. .

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