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The Haunting of Hill House Discussion Questions

1) What sort of protagonist is Eleanor? Think about what you’ve read about “typical” gothic heroes – and the female heroes of the female gothic. How would you characterize her? 

2) When Eleanor stops at the diner on her way to Hill House, she sees a child refusing to drink from anything but her “cup of stars” (14). Later, Eleanor tells Theodora that she has a cup of stars in her own apartment, which we know doesn’t exist. What, then, is the significance of the cup of stars?

3) What do you make of Hill House? Think through the various descriptions we get, particularly Dr. Montague’s description of both the house’s architecture and its previous inhabitants. How do they compare with the narrator’s descriptions? How does Hill House compare with other gothic spaces we’ve seen (Crimson Peak, “The Yellow Wallpaper”)?

4) How does the author build a particular mood throughout the novel? Think about the difference between the narrator & those moments when we hear Eleanor’s thoughts. What is the overlap? Is the house affecting them? How so?

Haunting of hill house:

video version is fine

the yellow wallpaper: