"The Haunted House" by Virginia Woolf and Alejandro Amenabar’s film The Others (2001) example

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"The Haunted House" by Virginia Woolf and Alejandro Amenabar’s film The Others (2001)

Virginia Woolf’s short story “The Haunted House” and Alejandro Amenabar’s film The Others (2001) can be rightly considered as distinguished examples of the feminine gothic. Both the author and director immerse their audience into the atmosphere of gloom and forebodingness reigning in their works. Both works demonstrate indubitable similarities. They deal with the spiritual quests of the female characters that attempt to find the answers to the important questions, roaming through the lonely rooms of their haunted houses. Thus, in both works, the action unfolds in the tenebrous places, where sensual and disturbed female characters, deeply attached to their loved ones, succeed in resolving existential mysteries.

In Woolf’s story and Amenabar’s film, the action takes place in the haunted houses, the eerie places inspiring awe and terror. Thus, Woolf focuses her readers’ attention on the description of the house, whose foreboding emptiness and tranquility foreshadow the supernatural events that takes place in it every night: “The house all empty, the doors standing open, only the wood pigeons bubbling with content and the hum of the threshing machine sounding from the farm” (Woolf). The female narrator effectively conveys the gothic atmosphere to readers. Undoubtedly, the woman feels agitated and thrilled as she walks through the rooms, corridors, and doorways. She makes it clear that such a peaceful place harbors the ghosts, the unearthly creatures that are unable to find rest. The action of Amenabar’s film is also set in the remote country house, which appears to be haunted, as well. The director accentuates the house’s formidable vaults and half-lit rooms (00:04:48-00:05:15). It becomes evident that the house retains the traces of dilapidation, which is subsequently confirmed by Grace Stewart, the mistress of the house. Smilingly to Woolf’s character, who provides the readers with the opportunity to see the interior of the house, Mrs. Steward cannot hide her inner confusion and spiritual restlessness that are connected with the house. Thus, tenebrous settings victimize Woolf’s female character of the living couple and Amenabar’s Grace, which testifies to their being typical characters of the Female Gothic (). Both women realize that their houses hide secrets. Still, they prove to be incapable of resolving the mysteries so far. In both works, the setting reinforces the confusion of the heroines, who find themselves confronting the mysteries of the haunted houses.

It is also noteworthy that both authors portray sensual and anxious female characters that demonstrate deep emotional attachment to their significant others. Woolf’s female character of the living couple feverishly searches for the ghostly couple that disturb her. The woman states that she cannot see the spirits. Nevertheless, she senses them and sees the signs of their presence: “…the door was open, spread about the floor, hung upon the walls, pendant from the ceiling” (Woolf). Thus, the female exhibits the traits of a gothic heroine, anxious, confused, and disoriented ().The author also accentuates her living gothic character’s gentle and caring attitude to her husband, with …

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