While the program is in writing fiction, this book was non-fiction. I don’t have a problem with that because it showed how fiction mirrors life. There is something interesting that I have been noticing in the stories we’ve read for this course. It is the presence of anger and contention.
The first book of the semester was The Haunting of Hill House. While there wasn’t a whole lot of anger between each other, it was still present. The main character leaves her sister’s place under less that amiable circumstances and while at Hill House is filled with jealousy. Those aren’t good feelings and did lead to contention.
The second book was Hell House and there is all sorts of ill feelings towards each other and their methods of working. So again, anger and contention.
Next was Ghost Story. Grudges, arguments, resentment, etc were there as well.
Then, the Shining. Jack has anger issues.
The Lovely Bones. This is a different type of story from the previous. It’s a story from the dead watching their family.
The Others. Definitely resentment, anger, and contention in that one.
Amityville Horror. The first thing I noticed was how the father acts immediately after getting into the house. He’s angry and snapping at everyone and refusing to help settle the house.
So by the time we get to Grave’s End, I’m not at all surprised when she admits they are having problems with the marriage. In the stories listed above (with the exception of Lovely Bones) they all have differences in what happens in ghost story part of it, but they also all have anger and contention. Having not been a horror reader before this program, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you anything about horror other than it’s meant to scare you so you can’t sleep. But I find it interesting that in both actual and fictional accounts, the people involved are not the happiest of people going into the story nor do they “play well with others.” If I had to make a list of aspects required in a horror story involving the paranormal or ghosts, I’d have to list anger and contention at the top of the list.