In the short story ‘The Demon Lover,” written by Elizabeth Bowen, she describes a story of a middle aged woman who had made a promise with her fiance© twenty-five years ago. It begins by Mrs.. Kathleen Drover coming back to her old bombed house in London to pick up a few things left behind. While she was there, Mrs.. Drover finds a letter which makes her recall of her soldier fiance© twenty-five years ago and the promise that he made her make.
After she had read the letter she goes to get a taxi and screams when she sees the driver’s face. Bowen implies two possible hypotheses in this short story: one Ewing that Mrs..
Drover is mentally unstable and she is hallucinating things and events, or that there is something supernatural after Mrs.. Drover. Bone’s descriptions about the letter that Kathleen “found” in her boomed house can be a possible ratification for her mental instability. Bowen portrays Kathleen arrival to her home in London as a surprise because no one knew she was going to come today; while Kathleen was there she found a letter addressed to her.
Bowen implies that the letter did not get there through the mail because “… The post office [redirects Kathleen mail], to the address in the country… ND this particular letter]… Bore no stamp. ” (5). The letter which had this days date talked about Kathleen anniversary with her long ago soldier fiance© and the promise they made before he left; which by the fact was signed “K. ” The fact that no one knew Kathleen was going to be there this day seems to indicate that she brought in the letter with her. For the most part people who are mentally unstable tend to normally forget about little things; such as writing a letter. It is possible that Kathleen could have written the letter to herself but due to her serious illness of her third child could have resorting about it.
Also the fact that the letter was with no stamp, had today’s date, and had the signature “K;” suggests that Kathleen could have written the letter this same day and could have brought it in with her. Normally mail offices do not send any mail out if it doesn’t have a stamp and it wouldn’t get where it needs to be the same day it was sent. Since the letter was signed “K” it would seem it was written by Kathleen since she is the only character that is known which starts with that letter. These are some indications to prove that Kathleen might be mentally unstable.
However, Bone’s description towards Kathleen fiance© seems to lead more to the supernatural side. Bowen writes that Kathleen “never knew much about [her soldier] fiance© [and she] never saw completely his face… [When they would talk outside the garden, she would sometimes]… Verify his presence by putting out her hand… [which] he pressed painfully on one of his buttons… [and cut her palm] [One night Kathleen] felt that unnatural promise drive down between her and the rest of humankind. ” If Kathleen soldier fiance© was some kind of demon it would be accurate that it would let anyone see his face.
The fact that Kathleen had to put out her had seems to be that his presence might have been there sometimes as a spirit but once she would but out her hand he could have verified his presence but marking her. Bowen seems to indicate that everything related with the fiance© was unnatural such as the “unnatural promise. ” This unnatural promise affected Kathleen so much that she isolated herself from everything and everyone. The fiance© might be a supernatural being that is after Kathleen Drover. Moreover one way of understanding Kathleen reaction towards the taxi dads to her possible hallucinations.
Bowen writes that when Mrs.. Dover goes to get a taxi there was “… Only one taxi… [It] appeared already to be alertly waiting for her. Indeed, without looking round the driver stared his engine as she panted up from behind and put her hand on the door. ” (28). To this “Mrs.. Drovers mouth hung open [when she saw the driver and realized she was home] for some seconds before she could issue her first scream. After she continued to scream freely and beat with her gloved hands on the glass all round as the taxi, acceleration without mercy… ” (29).
Routinely when anemone wants to go somewhere specific they order a special trip so the same taxi that takes them can take them back home. It is possible that Kathleen could have ordered a special taxi meant for that day but due to her serious illness, she could have forgotten about the taxi. This can be a possible explanation on why it was the only taxi there and seemed to be waiting for her. The fact that the driver knew where to take her seems to indicate he had taken there before. Since Kathleen could have forgotten about it, she probably was hallucinating imagining that it was her fiance© that was coming for her to fulfill the promise.
Also the fact that she just started screaming and banging on the taxis windows makes herself seem that she is mentally unstable. Usually people that are hallucinating tend to do this that they don’t normally tend to do. This incidence with the taxi is another possible explanation to show that she may not be mentally stable. The evidence that Bowen writes leads to establish that Mrs.. Drover had a mental illness that makes her hallucinate or that there is something supernatural after her. Bowen made it seem that the one who wrote the letter was herself and it is possible that she had forgotten that she did due to ere illness.
The fact that she was engaged with a man who her family knew almost nothing about and she had never seen his face made the impression that she was not real; or that it is a supernatural being. Besides her loss of sense, and her possible supernatural fiance© it can possible mean that she was also hallucination when she reacted very UN-normal with the taxi driver. Due to the equally distributed evidence that Bowen has provided us it comes to the conclusion that Kathleen may be mentally unstable or that there is a supernatural being after her.
Cite this Elizabeth Bowen’s The Demon Lover: Analysis
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