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Peter Hart

The Haunting of Hill House starts out with Dr. John Montague. He has a degree in anthropology, but his true passion lies in the paranormal. When the opportunity arrives to spend the summer in a house rumored to be haunted, he wastes no time in assembling a group to accompany him. The chapter focuses on one of his handful of assistants, Eleanor. She has always felt as if time was slipping by her, and sees this opportunity as a way to move her life forward. We get the idea that she doesn't take many risks and that this summer is very abnormal for her, yet she is handling the decision without much reluctancy. However, when she arrives at Hill House, her first instinct is to flee and never look back. However she forces herself to go in, and doesn't follow her desires to leave.

The Modern Connection- This is all about relating the novel and the characters in it to modern times and the personal backstory. This is important, because many times, that can be lost when abstract topics are discussed. This focus will ensure that the discussion stays relevant and personal to all who contribute.

Warm Up Activity- Think of a time when you were going away from home for an extended time, and think of how you felt. What emotions or fears did you have, no matter how irrational they may have been. Now imagine going to a place that already has been rumored to be haunted. What happens in your mind when your mind has a base line of rumors to build off of? How do you think Eleanor will deal with her mind wandering off to scary places? How would you do if you were in her position?

1. On Page 4, Montague looks to be searching for the rationalization of the supernatural with scientific study. This seems to be a common thought process today, why is this?
2. Throughout the chapter, a change is seen in Eleanor. What started this change, and what 'force' is drawing her to the rumors around Hill House?
3. On page 17, she is wondering what lays before her on the summer adventure. Based on what you know about built up expectations, what should she expect?
4. On page 18 esecially, the narration is external, yet can be inside her mind. Based on the plot of this book, do you think this foreshadows the paranormal aspect of the book?
5. On page 19, the words Dare and Evil stick out to her. Does this foreshadow her new found adventurous side?
6. Her fantasies all seem to deal with lions. Assuming that these represent courage, does this imply that there will be a need for this courage later on?
7. On page 42, she has scary thoughts and then says "NO" aloud and it echos. Does doing this kind of thing help you in times of trouble? Why is this so?
8. At the end of the chapter, Theodora and Eleanor realize they are cousins. Based on your experience, would this comfort you in a situation like hers?

Austin Davis

Summary Response-The Haunting of Hill House continues as the characters are introduced and the nature of the home becomes more and more suspicous. The home is continually compared to dreary contrasts that demote the home and make it seem dark, comparitable to the House of Usher. The chapters focus on the unification of the characters and the way that they seem to mold into friendship. Theodora, is periceved as the adventorous spirit in the novel, and seems to have a more positive outlook on the house.

Warm UP- Consider the way the home is talked about. Have you ever been in a situation that is comparable? If so, share and then try and predict what the final outcome of the novel might be?
Eat food.
Questions: On page 59, they talk about spirits and the paranormal, wondering how at a point they did not expect the house to be real, and yet that turned out to be real, what, if anything does this forshadow?
Why do the Dudley's continue to stay in the establishment of Hill House, despite its gllom? Refrence pg(66).
Why does everyone fear the night?
On page 68, the night is refrenced as fear itself, can we presume that these are well supported or is the fear of the night just exagerated over time?
Do you think there is anything truly wrong with the house, or is the problem with the inhabitents?
On pg 72, they talk of rational reasons for leaving the house, is there any explaination but the supernatural?
Does the history behind Hill house change one's perception? How/
On 78, what does the association with death mean for the Hill House?

Bryce Parietti

Summary Response: In chapters 5-6, strange occurences begin to play tricks on the minds of the Eleanor, Theodora, Luke, and Dr. Montague. The inhabitants all seem to believe that the house is evil and has a mind of its own. One of the strange occurences is when Eleanor's name is written on the wall with chalk, but she soons discovers that this was a joke played on her by Theodora to see how she would react. However, later in the night Theodora discovers writing on her wall in what appears to be blood. At the end of the night, Eleanor hears voices laughing and the chapter ends with her hysterically screaming about the voices and whose hand she was holding.

New Historicism: This literary theory deals with thinking about the text during the time period in which it was written and the conditions the author worked under. It also deals with political, economical, social, and cultural conflicts of the time in which it was written.

Warm-up: Discuss the warm-up questions. Have you ever been alone in a house and began to feel like something strange is occuring? Does fear of the unknown attribute to this? Pass out food and eat.

Discussion Questions:

On pg. 139, when Dr. Montague explains that "no physical danger exists" in the house, is he saying that the supernatural occurs in the mind, or is there no supernatural and it's just the mind going insane?

On pg. 147, when Eleanor discovers her name written in chalk, she becomes extremely angry and afraid. Even though we discover it was a joke, is this foreshadowing something about Eleanor?

On pg. 152, the group dicusses when they think the house will begin to terrorize them. This book was written during the Cold War, could this possibily be alluding to the Russians and when the Americans thought they were going to attack?

On pg. 157, it becomes clear that Eleanor and Theodora's friendship bond is breaking. Do you think that this could be the house tearing them apart, one by one?

On pg. 160, Eleanor speaks about her name and how it belongs to her. I saw this as a connection to John Proctor in The Crucible. What do you think of it?

Do you see connections between "The Yellow Wallpaper" and the recent occurances in chapters 5-6? Are they locked inside for too long?

What connections do you see between The Haunting of Hill House and The Crucible, since they were both written during the red scare?

After finishing chapter 6, what do you predict of Eleanor in the next few chapters? Why is she the only one who sees the "children...and a puppy..."? Is the house picking on her because she is the weakest minded person in the group?

Thomas Monnet
The day Mrs. Montague is supposed to arrive, Eleanor sneaks off to sit and think. Mrs. Montague and Arthur arrive and Mrs. Montague starts to order around her husband. She is several hours late but angry that they didn't save dinner for her. Later that night the pounding returns and everyone locks themselves in their rooms. Over breakfast, Dr. Montague says he didn't have the heart to wake Mrs. Montague and Arthur after such a hard night. Eleanor tells the others she can hear them coming, and that she can hear everything in the whole house. Dr. Montague asks about their night and Mrs. Montague and Arthur say that nothing unusual happened. Eleanor decides she is going to move in with Theo once they leave Hill House. Theo, Luke and Eleanor head down to the brook, Eleanor takes off on her own and begins to hear footsteps coming and can see them yet no one is there.

Jungian- This theory makes connections between the writings of C.G. Jung and the domain of contemporary cultural theory. This includes postmodernism, feminism, deconstruction.

Warm Up Activity- Imagine being all alone and seeing an invisible "ghost" walking toward you saying your name, how would you react? Does Eleanor's reaction foreshadow some approaching death?

1. How does Eleanor's reaction to the voices foreshadow some future loneliness?
2. How does Eleanor's desire to live with Theo actually split them apart?
3. On page 215, the ghost walks across the water, how does this foreshadow an upcoming sacrifice, is Eleanor going to die?
4. On page 226, the ghost walks next to her and no one else can hear it, this makes Eleanor joyful, why?
5. On page 183 the guests decide to stay together after dark, why do most weird occurences happen at night?
6. Why does Eleanor think the sounds are from inside her head when the other's can hear them?
7. On page 202, Eleanor says she has had enough and she is too cold, how does the cold foreshadow death?
8. On page 205, Eleanor is called baby, has she reverted into the id stage?

Austin Davis
Summary: In the final chapter, Eleanor who is considered the outcast by society reaches her neurosis. She crumbles, like the house begins to entrap her. There is a continued fixation with night, not leaving ones rooms or reaching out of there shell. I believe that this idea of not leaving ones room also could relate to conformity and fitting in. Jackson suggests through Eleanor that the outcast is bound to die and that insanity comes from inner conflict.

Phycho-Analitic- Eleanor, whom has had to do so much for the outside world, has a lot of conflict in herself that is leading to her neurosis, death.

Side Note:Bryce, Thomas, Peter have not brought in food once so tomarrow they totally owe me.

Warm up-Portray any pycho you can think of, movie characters, book characters, and try to analize Eleanors actions through their eyes.

Questions:What does Jackson say about outcasts?
How can we connect the book to modern day ideology?
Do you think it would have been different if any of the other characters died?
Going off Thomas' question, 226, how do you think that the characters developed at the end of the book?
Do you think that the house would be as creepy if it was modernized?
In the final chapter, Eleanor has the chance to make peace with the others, why did she choose not to?
How can you relate Eleanor's insanity to "The Yellow Wallpaper"? Is she locked inside of the house for too long?
What is the significance when Eleanor can remember everyone's name except Theodora's?