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Short Story Exploration & Analysis: The Daemon Lover by Shir

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Tiffany Ferreirinha

on 22 January 2016

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Transcript of Short Story Exploration & Analysis: The Daemon Lover by Shir

Short Story Exploration & Analysis: The Daemon Lover by Shirley Jackson
“Am I walking toward something I should be running away from?”
-Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson
December 14th, 1916-August 8th, 1965
San Francisco, California
Studied at the University of Syracuse
Author, novelist (mystery/horror)
For a long period of time, many believed Shirley was born in 1919 -- to appear younger to her audience then her husband.
Famous for her short stories: The Daemon Lover, The Lottery

Short Story Summary
A woman awakes after an un-restful night and starts her day. She does domestic things while she contemplates how she is going to let her sister know that she is eloping with Jamie. As she contemplates this, she continues to pack and get ready, awaiting for Jamie's return. She finds herself antsy and continues to change different details within her apartment and her appearance. Jamie is an hour late in arriving and so she decides to go down to the drugstore for some food, leaving a note on the door. She rushes back but he is still nowhere to be found. She takes a taxi to Jamie's neighborhood and looks for the building where Jamie lives.
Social Context
"The Daemon Lover" was written by Shirley Jackson in the year 1948
During this time period in the United States - the war had just ended - many people were working hard meanwhile industries such as fashion and pop culture began to make its first grand appearances
The published date and time did not have anything to do with the social context
His name is not found on the tenant listing and the superintendent asks if she needs help. He explains that the person might have been house-sitting in one of the apartments and sends her to it. When she knocks on that door, the couple explain they had lent the apartment to him but the husband wasn't entirely fond of such men that the wife met at "those meetings." They explain that Jamie was there but left this morning with not additional information. When she leaves, she visits the man at the newsstand across the street to see if they know anything. After hemming and hawing, he saws that he might have seen a man of that description in the area around ten. She follows in the direction that he indicates. She slowly makes her way in his direction, discovering where he went and was going. She continues in the direction of her home and comes back to the apartment but Jamie is still nowhere. She goes back and asks additional people that might have spotted him. Finally, one man points out a house that he believes he saw Jamie go into with a woman. She finds out where in the building he went and followed, knocking on the door. She was pretty sure she could hear voices. But no one opened the door. She continues to visit the door and knock over the ensuing week, but no one comes.
Literary Theories
Shirley Jackson wrote about things that people did not want to read about; being stood up, having an affair
She wrote openly about the norms of today's society which were looked down upon during the time period it had been published
Discusses topics such as: infidelity, female paranoia and irrational decision making
Feminist Theory:
Character in the short story represents the typical female role; willingness to go such measures for a man i.e at the end of the story the protagonist stay's knocking at Jamie's door for over a week, committed to pleasing and awaiting for this man for her dream of eloping with him
Shirley Jackson shows a female who is willing to live her life begging for a man
Literary Connection
A short story that relates to "The Daemon Lover" by Shirley Jackson would be "The End of Something" by Ernest Hemingway. In this short story, there is infidelity followed by a lack of involvement in the love interests life. A woman leaves her husband without reasoning and he is left alone. Relatable to The Daemon Lover.
Conclusion : Themes
LOYALTY: The narrator stays loyal to her lover even when she was told that he was seen entering a room with another woman
DISHONESTY: Jamie being dishonest to the narrator; telling her to meet together then leaving with another woman
ABANDONMENT: narrator being abandoned by her lover
PERSEVERANCE: narrator does not give up on her lover; devotes her time to find Jamie.
Full transcript