We Have Always Lived in the Castle
If you’ve read Shirley Jackson you may agree her stories are a genre of their own. Always an eerie story, Jackson focuses her horror in a subtle psychological way creating a surrealist horror experience. Her characters are hard to root for, as they tend to be both frustrated and frustrating living in their own world seemingly unaware of the others, foolish and deranged. Jackson’s stories–while short–tend to stick in your mind due to their uniqueness.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is the gothic narration of Merricat, who sometimes is hard to picture at 18 with her childlike mannerisms and stunted mental growth while she lived with her older sister Constance, and their sick Uncle Julian after their parents died years ago when they eat some suspicious berries that left Uncle Julian debilitated and the sisters shunned. Constance fulfills her role as a homemaker, baking pies and canning fruit with a smile plastered on her always clean smile. Merricat endures the gossip of the town when she makes her weekly trips to get groceries rushing home to bury trinkets and casting protective spells having the company of Jonas, her cat.
The sisters take care of each other and of their uncle, spending their days eating, cleaning, and fantasizing about living on the moon, not daring to touch or move anything of their beloved parents. The delicate balance of the household is disturbed by the arrival of Charles, a cousin who comes out of nowhere after his apparent father’s passing.