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What is Woolf's view of death in "A Haunted House"?

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mswannack | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 4, 2011 at 4:17 AM via web

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What is Woolf's view of death in "A Haunted House"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 4, 2011 at 8:05 PM (Answer #1)

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Woolf holds a fairly interesting view about death in her story.  Rather than present it as a force that eliminates life or negates it, she depicts it as a tool to further appreciate life and the love that happens within it.  This is where the narrator recognizes her own place in her relationship with the ghosts.  The reader does not get the impression that the narrator is afraid of ghosts or she is concerned with her well being by their presence.  Rather, by the end of the work, she actually understands their purpose in being in the house.  They see the love that the narrator shares with her husband as something that they shared at one time and strive to share even beyond death.  The force of death did not stop anything nor did it cease human emotion.  If anything, it amplified it, as the ghosts recognize that their death was premature and the love shared between them continues even if their physical lives do not.  Death is not seen as an obstacle that finishes life and love, but rather is a realm where human emotions can still be experienced.  Individuals are shown to be beings that can feel love and the sensuous melding of souls and hearts even through the previously thought unconquerable force of death.

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