Saturday, October 14, 2017

Shirley Jackson's The Witch - Discussion #WitchSeasonCM


A couple days late with this discussion post. I'm sure you're not surprised.

There are spoilers ahead so if you haven't read the story yet, tread lightly.

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What a strange little five page story! I look at this one as a horror story for parents. The man with the cigar, or as the little boy calls him, "a witch" is a parents worst nightmare. Whether he was teasing or not, one could not deny sharing the mother's unease when she heard what the man was saying to her son. I mean, who sits down next to a four year old and starts telling a story like that? Such a conversation might be looked at as comical until he starts going into the (literally) gory details..."and then I took her and I put my hands around her neck and I pinched her and I pinched her until she was dead...And then I took and I cut her head off and I took her head..." Of course, the four year old gasps and yet he's still curious, as any four year old who doesn't quite know yet what a threat is would be. The man goes further with this talk and that's when the mother steps in.

So, not quite the "witch" story I was thinking it would be, but no less interesting with its underlying meaning. Shirley Jackson has a true knack for subtle horror.


What did you think?

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2 comments:

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  1. I read it and enjoyed it. It wasn't what I thought it would be with a title like that, but very creepy. Definitely adult fiction. Nice short story for October.

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  2. I just realized that I read this about a month ago for Deal Me In...probably because I'd totally dissociated the title from the story.

    https://katenread.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/deal-me-in-week-37-the-witch/

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