(Ann) Philippa Pearce Judith Armstrong - Essay

Judith Armstrong

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Ghost stories, especially those which concentrate on the relationship between a single person and his ghost, as in the work of Philippa Pearce, are anti-fatalist. The person and the event are singular and positive, but they are shadowed by their negatives, which are many—all the people we might have become, and did not; all the things we might have done, and did not. The richness of our lives and being is in the depth of their shading. This perception lies behind the title story of The Shadow Cage, Philippa Pearce's collection of ghost stories.

The making of identity is a continuous process which involves selection of one course and rejection of all others. Ghost stories show us how to...

(The entire section is 1216 words.)