Our course reading is call “The Haunting of Hill House”. And base on this book, I have to write an essay about the Rhetorical Analysis for it.
A few ideas to jump start your thinking: feel free to use these as spring boards, but of course, don’t feel limited to only these topics.
1. We’ve talked quite a bit about how the American gothic seeks often to discuss cultural anxieties of the particular moment. (You’ll remember that the early American gothic worked through the radical isolation of frontier living, concerns about the American democratic experiment, Puritanism, and racial tensions, among others.) Jackson’s novel, written at a tumultuous point in the mid-20th century, takes up any number of cultural anxieties. What sort of message do you see? And how does it use the gothic to do so?
2. Through the Davison article and the Gilman short story, we’ve talked about the ways that authors have created the Female Gothic, which adapts generic conventions to discuss the female experience. In what ways does Jackson continue this tradition, and to what ends? In what ways does she subvert the genre?
3. Much of our discussion of the gothic has touched on the importance of setting and location, emphasizing the role gothic spaces can play. Hill House is a particularly interesting place–we learn quite a bit about the house, from its torrid past to its incompatible exterior and interior to its constant characterization as a living thing. Consider this space–what is its effect? How is it being used–and to what ends–in the novel?
4. The American gothic is unique in its tendency toward psychological horror–Shirley Jackson in particular is considered a master of the genre. How does terror build in the novel? what rhetorical moves does Jackson make to develop the aspects of psychological horror? Consider especially Eleanor’s peculiar (and somewhat sinister) relationship to Hill House.
Three secondary quotation to support with this essay and I will be upload a few samples of this paper for you too.