Thursday, November 14, 2013
"The Temple" Option #5
The short story, “The Temple”, by Joyce Carol Oates is the epitome of the typical creepy stories that have you asking so many questions after you finish reading it. By the end of the story I was left wondering who, what, and when??? I think what many Gothic literature works and films do, and what “The Temple” accomplished, is intrigue the reader and enhance the mystery by leaving out key facts. One of the Gothic tropes used in the story is distressed heroine. The main character is an old woman who lives all alone, and is haunted by this spooky scratching sound. You feel sorry for this poor woman, and wonder why she is alone. The reader follows the woman’s torture from the sound, and her determination to find out the source of its location. She follows the sound outside, and then she begins to dig in the garden where she thinks the sound is emanating from. The woman is now standing on top of the sound and she says “Yes. Yes. I’m here,” to herself (Oates 347). What? Now, I’m questioning if she knew already what the sound was, and maybe she’s just a crazy person talking to someone she buried. This is when the woman changes from a poor hopeless woman to a creepy lady who dug up some child’s bones. What puts this story into the grotesque genre is what the woman does next. She collects the bones and places them into a human figure on the bedside table in her bedroom. “I am here, I will always be here,” the woman promised. “I will never abandon you,” (Oates 348). This is how the story ends, but the reader is left puzzled by whom the skeleton really belongs to and why this woman is so obsessed with it. The fact that “The Temple” has so much mystery and intrigue in such a short read is why I think it is a good Gothic story. I would suggest this story to a friend, and would give it a 4 out of 5 rating because of the suspense it kept me in while reading it. I was constantly trying to figure out what crazy thing would happen next.