Saturday, October 9, 2010

On "The Shadowy Third" by Ellen Glasgow (10,215 words) ****

In "The Shadowy Third," one of Glasgow's most popular stories, a young nurse goes to aid a woman who is suffering from a bout of supposed insanity. The nurse finds the woman to be totally within her wits, however, until she discovers that the daughter that she sees coming and going throughout the house is actually a phantom no one other than the woman and the nurse can see. The story continues from there, with the discovery of why the daughter haunts the house and of just how dastardly the people living in the house are. This story somehow manages to make one actually feel for the poor, supposedly delusional woman. Is she insane and paranoid or is there something to all that she believes? The phantom seems more a physical presence in this Glasgow story than in most of her other ghost stories, but the same themes sanity versus insanity, kindness versus unkindness, and the haunting of memory pervade. Read the story here.

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