Wednesday, December 10, 2008

page 21

Just as Navidson showed his independence in the book by running off to do his photojournalism at a moment’s notice, so too does Karen show her independence in Poe's retelling. She asserts herself in the album. We don't see this in the male version of the story. Karen tells us how she got the courage to save her husband and how it was tearing her apart to be without him. We hear about her struggles and her life in this story and we don't get that at all in the book. The song “Control,” for example, is narrated by Karen. The “person” she is talking to is not Navidson or any person for that matter, but the house itself. “You thought you could keep me from loving/You thought you could feed on my soul/But while you were busy destroying my life/What was half in me has become whole.” It kept her from loving, it fed on her soul, and destroyed her life all by taking her husband on whom she was so reliant. It tore her family apart and caused her children to react very strangely. It seems like the setting for this song is probably while she is saving Navidson. What was half in her did become whole when she found her husband (her other half), the one she loved so much. The house was caught “looking the other way,” taking care of destroying Navidson when she stumbled in. But, instead of finding her miserable and claustrophobic, in tears and “crawling the walls/Like a tiny mosquito and trembling in fear,” she “took control” and saved the one she loved. “At the end of it all lies of course the final phenomenon of deterioration... when the creative energy ceases.” This is when she has Navidson in her arms and the house just deteriorates or dissolves and they are out on the front lawn and there is nothing supernatural for the rest of the story.
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