We Have Always Lived In The Castle Ch’s 9 & 10
I have to apologize to everyone for not having this post up in time!! It totally got away from me. Maybe subconsciously I was trying to avoid it because it’s our last discussion of the book I’ve had such a great time talking about this book with everyone and reading everyone’s comments about it! It really has been quite the fun read. But alas, all things must come to an end, and what an interesting end We Have Always Lived in the Castle has come to.
Did anyone find the ending anti-climatic? At first I did. I wanted more answers. Maybe not more answers, maybe that’s not the right term, but I wanted to see things play out more. We never learn much more about Uncle Julian’s death and the girls’ reaction is a bit strange…not much of a reaction at all really. I found it odd that the girls are able to continue to live in the house despite half of it being burnt down. Even with the vines growing over the house it doesn’t seem like it would be very liveable. The girls get checked in on and Helen Clarke makes a statement that the townspeople didn’t mean it the way they took it? Or something like that? That was bizarre to me. How else were the girls to take people destroying their homes.
But after sitting with the book for a couple of days, I began to become ok with the ending because it became almost fairy tale like to me. Where things don’t necessarily have to have a perfect ending and be tied up nicely. In fact, the ending became deliciously creepy to me with people leaving baskets on the front doorstep filled with food as an apology for their past behavior. Children daring each other to go close to the door. Stories forming about the old women who lived in the house still. But we as readers actually get to see what’s BEHIND the door. And I almost felt like the whole book was an homage to these sorts of folktales and legends that live in small towns. That it showed us the humans behind the doors. The real people who take the food that’s left in the basket and how they’re not creepy old witches, but people that we can feel for despite our initial questions about them. But of course these are just my own thoughts on the book. I would LOVE to hear your own thoughts on the ending.
What did you think of these last two chapters and even more, what did you think of the novel as a whole? Did you enjoy it? Were you disappointed by the ending? Are you likely to read more Jackson after reading this novel? I know I am!
Also, I just want to thank everyone for participating in this discussion!! It’s meant so much to me (who was a bundle of nerves to begin with!) and I just had so much fun hosting this. Hope everyone enjoyed it!!