The Demon Lover Questions and Answers
by Elizabeth Bowen

The Demon Lover book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the theme of "The Demon Lover"?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write10,803 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

One could argue that the overriding theme of the story is the impossibility of escaping one's past. That's what Katherine has tried to do ever since a former lover of hers died during World War I. Yet the sudden, shocking appearance of this long dead paramour in spirit form has put paid to her attempts to move on with her life.

The message seems to be that the past will always come back to haunt us sooner or later unless we come to terms with it. One senses, then, that Katherine has never really been able to do that, for one reason or another. Perhaps she'd forgotten about her lover after all these years. Or perhaps she'd never had the chance to grieve over her loss. Whatever the reason, Katherine's past is now as real to her as her present, with truly terrifying consequences.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,301 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In "The Demon Lover," Bowen explores the theme of war. Specifically, the story highlights the effects of war on both the combatants and the civilians.

When the story opens, for example, the reader learns that Mrs....

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 583 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

boomer-sooner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write278 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial