The Haunting of Hill House

by Shirley Jackson

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How does Hugh Crain's relationship with his daughter create suspense in "The Haunting of Hill House"?

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There really isn't much suspense in the relationship between Crain and his daughter, since these events occurred in the past, but their bond is not a healthy one. Crain was power-hungry and sought to control his daughter's behavior by frightening her with fear of eternal damnation. He wanted to make sure she acted like a "lady" and forced her to repress herself to suit his wishes.

One might say there is suspense in that one is not sure why Crain was so concerned with his daughter being "proper." Considering how all three of his wives died prematurely, one might wonder if he was projecting onto his daughter and if there may have been some hints of sexual underpinnings or jealousy there. However, this is never resolved and is left open for debate.

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