Tragedies tend to stick around our heads for a long time, in “The Demon Lover” by Elizabeth Bowen, she lets Mrs. Drover have the misery of her husband’s death haunt her subconscious mind. Also the other major theme is the effects of wartime on the human brain. Revenge in the short story is no bad deed goes unpunished. As well, the tale could be considered an allegory in which the soldier symbolizes "endless, inescapable violence," Many of the symbols, motifs, and the two characters in the short story support this theme also.
Mrs. Drover was being unfaithful to her lover and he made her suffer the consequences of her action. Perhaps the driver of the taxi was the soldier, who came back as as a demon, or the devil, come to retrieve the damned Mrs. Drover. On another level Mrs. Drover 's suffering may have been the result of years of inner struggle with the guilt of her betrayal. Besides the other themes mentioned the effects of war on the human brain is certainly portrayed throughout the story more.
“The Demon Lover" have remarked on Bowen 's use of setting and mood to make Mrs. Drover 's impending crisis truly believable. Took Place in London, the story takes place in a house with "some cracks in the structure, left by the last bombing" that is situated on a deserted street and gives an eerie atmosphere to the story. The house is boarded up and during the war era. That is what makes the misery believable. The mood is created by the setting. Bowen also uses descriptive language to set the mood. She describes the storm as “ink-dark” clouds piling up giving the street “an unfamiliar queerness.” Bowen then uses the flashback to make the reader understand the narrator’s fear when she opens the letter. The ...
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...tion between 1941 and 1944. In 1945 Henry Reed, a reviewer for The New Statesman and Nation, praised Bowen for the way she conveyed the atmosphere of war to the reader and for her “ability to concentrate the emotions of a scene, or a sequence of thoughts, into an unforgettable sentence or phrase with a beauty of expression.” This praise was echoed by American reviewers when the collection was published in the United States the following year. Without exception American critics lauded Bowen’s work.
Regardless of the other themes on which the story touches, "The Demon Lover" almost certainly portrays the insidious effects of wartime on the human psyche. Mrs. Drover is very affected by it, and also possibly Elizabeth Bowen herself could of been affected by it. Throughout the short story there is various evidence that goes back to support this theme being a powerful one.
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