Monday, September 14, 2009

"The Demon Lover." Elizabeth Bowen.

One-minute review: Twenty-five years before, Mrs. Drover had promised her soldier fiancé that she would see him again. This is their twenty-fifth anniversary of their engagement. He disappeared in WWI. But now, as she returns to her WWII war-damaged home in London, she finds a letter saying that he was coming to keep her promise. She had married since, had had children and they now lived in the country to avoid the German bombing of London. How could the letter have arrived? She had told no one that she was coming back to get some personal things. She remembered that her soldier-lover had had a cold personality and she could not remember his face. She never had been officially notified of his death.

She hurries to the center of the deserted town to find a taxi to take her back to the house to pick up her things. The phone, of course, wasn’t working. There was only one taxi. The driver seemed to know she was coming. Without her telling the driver where she wanted to go, he started up the taxi and began to drive. She banged on the window between the driver and her. He turned. They were face to face. The driver drove off while she pounded on the glass, helpless.

Comment: The reader assumes that his sinister personality was such that he has observed her closely for these 25 years and now has decided to keep his promise to “be with her.”

This story gives the reader genuine chills. RayS.

Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Eds. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1989.

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