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The Demon Lover

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Leah Brown

Ms. Meacham

British Literature

May 1, 2008

The Demon Lover

In 1946, the short story “The Demon Lover”, by Elizabeth Bowen, was published and brought into consideration by numerous readers who were interested into what was done to the mind and spirit of the English people after the war. Bowen makes use of suspense as the main characteristic in the story. Suspense in used in various conducts all through “The Demon Lover”. The story first takes place in London where a woman, Mrs. Drover, had come to visit her shut-up house that had been damaged during the war to gather few materials she had left behind. Mrs. Drover had felt a strange sense and suspense tends to build up as she finds a letter in her vacant house from her fiancÐ"© whom was reported missing 25 years ago during the war saying that he would be meeting her “at the hour arranged”. Mrs. Drover was frightened at the fact that the letter had today’s date clearly written on it. She thought possibly someone was watching her, and was afraid to know when the “hour arranged” was. Trying her best to avoid it as much as possible, she realizes that her long lost fiancÐ"© had come back for her like he had promised her before he left the war, but because she did not keep her promise that she would wait for him to return, and instead moved on and married another, he has theoretically come back for his revenge.

In “The Demon Lover”, Bowen starts the story with good quality suspense as she narrates that Mrs. Drover is walking into her house, “Dead air came out to meet her as she came in” (Bowen 1032). This particular line draws the reader in, as the suspension builds and makes the reader want to read more, ergo; it’s what most readers look for, instead of a boring read. As the story leads on, around the time that Mrs. Drover finds the letter lying on the hall table, “her reluctance to look again at the letter came from the fact that she felt intruded upon вЂ" and by someone contemptuous of her ways” (Bowen 1033). She felt as if someone had been watching her, because she knew that her caretaker had not been back to place the letter in such an oddly mean. He was beyond doubt not expecting her this evening, as far as anyone was concerned, her presence back in London was a surprise. The anticipation that someone could be watching Mrs. Drover significantly interests the reader into whom the stalker could be. It keeps the reader questioning, “Could this someone supposedly watching her be her missing fiancÐ"©, or was there someone else interested in being involved in Mrs. Drover’s lifestyle”. In a story, particularly in this case, keeping one wanting to continuously know what is going to happen next, builds



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