The Demon Lover, An Analysis

925 words - 4 pages

In "The Demon Lover," by Elizabeth Bowen, Kathleen Drover returns to London from her house in the country in order to gather some things that she and her husband had abandoned during the bombings of the war. It is a humid, rainy day in late August and her once familiar street is now mostly deserted. The caretaker of her house is supposed to be out of town for a week and her arrival is assumed unknown. Mrs. Drover enters the old musty house and discovers a letter addressed to herself and it is marked with the present date. Curious to know if the caretaker is back in town and a little annoyed by the letter seeming to have no urgency in being mailed to her, she proceeds upstairs to her old bedroom to read it. In utter shock and complete horror, Mrs, Drover realizes that the letter is from her dead fiancé from twenty-five years ago. The letter is written in a threatening tone and is very vague but refers to a promise that she made to him and it is apparent that he plans to meet with her at the "agreed upon hour" to fulfill the promise. She can not remember what promise she had made was nor had any idea of what time he intended to meet, but she, in a panic of terror, flees the house. She proceeds to go to the town square where she might be safe and hails a cab. Mrs. Drover gets into the cab that almost seems to be waiting for her and as the driver turns to look back through the partition her jaw drops open and she proceeds to scream and helplessly beat on the glass. The driver then speeds off onto the deserted street and takes her away. We are led to believe that the driver is indeed the demonic lover that has captured her and going to force the promise to be fulfilled. Through this bone chilling suspenseful story, Bowen reinforces the importance of not making promises you can not keep.

Mrs. Kathleen Drover is a forty four year old woman whose "utter dependability is the keystone of her family life." She will not have that any longer. When she was nineteen she made a promise to her fiancé, who her mother claimed "was set on her, not in love." A couple months after he left for war he was reported missing and presumed dead. At thirty two she met and married her current husband and had children. Now, it seems that the demon wants his "fiancé" to keep her promise. Bowen may have chosen to give her the last name of Drover, because a drover...

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