In 'The Demon Lover,' what details in the lovers' last meeting foreshadow a sinister, threatening reunion?

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There are several details in the description of the lovers' last meeting back in August 1916, which hint at a sinister reunion.

Firstly, the meeting is described as taking place in the dark, and Kathleen cannot clearly see her lover's face; this suggests a sinister unknown quality to him.

Secondly, the physical contact they have at this meeting - her lover pressing her hand - causes Kathleen physical pain, as his uniform button cuts her hand. She remembers this pain vividly, twenty-five years later.

Thirdly, the pledge to meet again is actually felt by Kathleen to be 'an unnatural promise, driving down between her and the rest of all humankind'. This explicitly tells us how uneasy this meeting with her lover has made her feel. She feels that being with him has cut her off from the ordinary run of things, so that she is actually relieved when the meeting is over and she can return to her family; but ultimately she will not be able to escape him. He promises to return to her, but not out of love; it seems that he simply wants control over her.


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