The Haunting of Hill House - spoilers

(25 Posts)
lorelei9 Sun 20-Mar-16 20:58:06

has anyone read this?

I'm not 100% sure my interpretation is correct - or has it been left open deliberately?

if you don't want to read a spoiler - look away now....I'll leave a bit of a gap...

I thought that Eleanor was the ghost. But I suppose there is also a chance that she wasn't but through her suicide, she joins the ...whatever else is in the house.

TheHiphopopotamus Mon 21-Mar-16 22:03:52

I've read it, but I can't remember it very clearly <no help whatsoever>

However, I don't think that's the impression I got. A lot of it is open to interpretation and Shirley Jackson specialises in unreliable narrators. I think maybe she killed herself so she could join the house in some way.

noeuf Mon 21-Mar-16 22:06:23

Ah I've read it too. I don't think I picked up on her killing herself, in fact I don't really remember thinking it was much cop.

lorelei9 Mon 21-Mar-16 22:39:50

Thank you, interesting perspectives

I thought Elaenor was the ghost for a while, about halfway through

But the last section talks of Theodora's friend, mentions the others, but doesn't mention anything in regards to Eleanor's sister being informed. You could interpret it as if Eleanor wasnt there...which might make her the ghost. She also had her journey to the house detailed, we didn't hear about the others.

It is probably designed to be read many ways, I'm sure I missed something. The idea that Eleanor was a real person and the house recruited her works too. Good book, I enjoyed it. Plenty of humour too.

noeuf Tue 22-Mar-16 06:08:42

I feel really stupid now! I just read it straight , the knocking on the doors, the girls not getting on etc. [Blush]

lorelei9 Tue 22-Mar-16 11:53:41

Noeuf, reading it straight, did you also think Eleanor committed suicide to become part of the house? That's definitely one way of reading it. Maybe I'm imagining things!

lorelei9 Tue 22-Mar-16 11:54:43

Sorry, Ive just realised, you didnt pick up on the suicide? Bit confused again now.

TheHiphopopotamus Tue 22-Mar-16 12:11:42

lorelei have you seen the film with Liam Neeson? But pants, but the imagining of the house is amazing.

lorelei9 Tue 22-Mar-16 13:21:33

No I've not seen it. My sis has and she said it wasn't good and I think it put her off reading it!

lorelei9 Tue 22-Mar-16 13:23:46

Noeuf, intersting that you talk of the girls not getting on. I thought they did but then Theodora became suspicious of Eleanor and then it went wrong. Also thought that Eleanor secretly fancied Theodora and that complicated it.

noeuf Tue 22-Mar-16 22:05:40

Yes I thought they did and then irritated each other. I think I'm confused now: Eleanor was the one who had to be rescued from climbing up the unstable library? And was sent away and drove off?

lorelei9 Tue 22-Mar-16 22:14:36

Noeuf, yes that was Eleanor. And when she drove away she deliberately crashed to kill herself. Which I thought she was trying to do in the library...

noeuf Tue 22-Mar-16 22:37:37

Oh yes that's right. I think I read it that she was driven demented by the house and the others were the ghosts. It's coming back to me now. Because she arrived by car.

lorelei9 Tue 22-Mar-16 22:55:33

Oh! Interesting but it said in the last para, what happened to the others later in life, after they left Hill House.

Another thought, Eleanor was the ghost but just takes different forms and does different things each time someone goes to the house, Dr Montague did say all visitors left in a hurry...

noeuf Wed 23-Mar-16 07:26:43

The cook - is she real?

lorelei9 Wed 23-Mar-16 09:58:06

Ooh it never occurred to me she might not be real. This book is even more fun than I thought, will have to read it again.

So why might she not be real? She certainly was a harbinger of doom....

noeuf Wed 23-Mar-16 11:31:48

Ok I'm going to read it again

lorelei9 Wed 23-Mar-16 12:30:18

Great
But would be really interested to hear more re cook not being real.

noeuf Wed 23-Mar-16 20:32:15

I'm watching The Haunting which seems to be based on it. Exciting!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 23-Mar-16 20:36:07

I was a bit disappointed by this one tbh. Maybe I was missing the point. It was creepy but didn't really give me the big resolution I wanted.

lorelei9 Wed 23-Mar-16 23:06:55

Countess, do you mean you wanted to know more about the ghost?

I'm liking it more and more as I think about it. I love that the house is so twisted.

noeuf Wed 23-Mar-16 23:41:45

I'm needing to read it again. I read it more as Eleanor being a bit hysterical and the ghost as not being very scary.
The film is hilarious. Poor liam, Catherine and Owen having that on their CV

Hygge Thu 24-Mar-16 06:31:11

It's been a while since I read it, but I seem to remember thinking she killed herself because she couldn't face going back home to her sister, and hadn't found the acceptance she needed from the others at the house. This was her big escape, her chance to live a more normal life away from her sister, and it had failed.

I think she was probably the most sensitive to whatever was in the house, hoped to find other people like her who would accept her in the way her sister never had, she wanted to break away and be more independent but she also wanted someone else to take on her sister's role to some degree, and when none of that worked out, coupled with what the house did to her, she killed herself to get away from it all, at the very least get away from her sister, even if it meant being taken over by the house.

I can only remember one creepy bit, where I think Eleanor and Theo were holding hands in a dark room, listening to some noise that might have been the ghost, but then Theo turned on the light and it turned out she was at the other side of the room, but Eleanor could still feel something holding her hand and she screamed about it. Who was holding my hand?

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 24-Mar-16 12:17:25

Yes Lorelei, I think that's what I meant. It was only a few months ago that I read it so I ought to remember more but I just remember finding it rather unfulfilling.

lorelei9here Fri 25-Mar-16 10:42:11

hi all
lost my MN account details completely....so it is me who started the thread! Hello!

Hygge, that's interesting.

Countess, when I finished it, that was my initial thought, but then I got to thinking how many interpretations there were.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now