Opening: The story begins with two persons meeting together at a certain time and place: at the hollow of the three hills during the sunset. One was an old woman who apparented to be mean and ill, she was a witch. The other woman was a graceful lady that looked pale and troubled. The opening also describes the place where they met, which was isolated, and the time of the year, which was October. The opening is really effective because it describes the place where the two women met in detail, and the reader can see, imagine and understand it. The quote, ¨dwarf pines were numerous upon the hills¨ describes the three hills so you can imagine the place where they met. Another quote, ¨one of these masses of decaying wood, formerly a majestic oak, rested clos beside a pool of green and sluggish water at the bottom of the basin¨, this quote describes the place that was filled with tree-trunks that had fallen with time and that there was a little lake at the bottom of the hills. Moreover, it describes the time of the day: sunset, which is the moment of revelation. Yes, I think that the story begins mid-drama because the woman escaped her home and was very troubled, she felt very guilty. The story is in 1st person limited, and it is in present tense, but the lady felt guilty and had a conflict with her past.
- Time: it was during the 1800s. It was October and during a twilight. The following quote, ¨there was nothing but the brown grass of October¨, it tells us that the time of the year was October, so it was autumn. We can also tell that it was autumn because it says ¨the chill beauty of an autumnal sunset¨, it describes nature at that time of the year.
- Place: The hollow of the three hills, a desolate place, ¨no mortal could observe them¨, this quote points out that no one was there, that that place was completely isolated.
- The young lady: she was graceful, though pale and troubled. With the word pale we can understand that she is sick, ill or about to die; and the word troubled makes us think that she has mental health problems.
- The old woman: she was poorly dressed and was very ugly. She was very old so she looked shrunken and seemed to be ill. She was a witch who helped the young lady that was looking for a closure, however, she ends up taking her life.
- guilt and remorse
- the supernatural
- anxiety and curiosity
- The number 3: the author uses the number three in relation to the Bible, since it contains symbols like the holy trinity. Examples based on the story are the three hills and the three visions of the young lady.
- October: it is known as the month of death. At the beginning of the story, the woman has her first vision of her daughters funeral. And in order to obtain the witches help, she needs to give up her own life.
- Autumn: it symbolises death since it’s the time of the year when natures dies or is about to die. Some quotes that help us understand this are, ¨a tree fell¨, which represents death, and ¨no green¨, which means there is no life.
The Hollow of the Three Hills is a gothic story. We can say this because of the gothic elements found in the sotry. The following are the gothic elements:
- set in old and rundown strictures (ex: castles)
- the building usually features hidden passages, trap doors and dangerous or secret rooms
- has suffered a decline from it’s former greatness
- dark forests
- imposing mountains
- stormy weather
- far from civilization
- hidden secrets which threaten the protagonist
- isolated or alone
- physical or emotional
- self-imposed or circumstances
- passionate and strong-willed
- women: curious and have a tendency to swoon
- men: storm and rage in reflection of unseen inner torments
Damsels in distress:
- threatened by tyrannical men or circumstances
- appear frightened
- may suffer from some sort of ailment
- unlucky omens
- ancient curses
- dark forces
- unexplained manifestations
- a formerly great family, community, country or individual who has peaked and now begins a slow process of decline
- crumbling buildings
- people going crazy
- tragic illness
The gothic elements that are present in the story are:
- An atmosphere of mistery and unknown
- Omens, portents, visions
- ENvironment – far from civilazation, dark and isolated
- The supernatural – unexplained manifestations
- High emotion- Characters often overcome with anger, sorrow, surprise and especially terror, raw nerves and a feeling of impending doom, breathing heavily and crying
- Women in distress – lonely, terrified, fainting, sobbing
- Romance – unreturned love
- Claustrophobia – the women’s urge to flee