The Haunting of Hill House

by Shirley Jackson

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Critical Context

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Last Updated on May 10, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 130

The Haunting of Hill House can be viewed as a triumph of the quiet horror story. It features many of the conventions of genre fiction, including the oddly constructed Hill House, apparently a place of residual evil. Themes of personal bondage and alienation from earlier works by Shirley Jackson, such as The Sundial (1954), continue in The Haunting of Hill House and in her final book, We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962). It also echoes themes from her controversial short story about human sacrifice, “The Lottery” (1948), which depicts a young woman who is stoned by her community. Elements from The Haunting of Hill House and Jackson’s other works have obviously influenced many popular horror writers. Her work blends psychological realism with fantastic elements to produce enthralling and insightful fiction.

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