Fatema marries her after his brother falls off

Fatema AbdAli Alhammali.20151210.

The Lifted Veil is a horror fiction novellawritten by George Eliot and it was published in 1859. This particular novellais unlike the realistic fiction for which George Eliot is best known, and, itis the first time that the author uses a first-person narrator. It is alsoconsidered to be a significant part of the Victorian tradition of horrorfiction.

The story is set in Victorian England, in theearly-to-mid 19th century. The setting in which the story takesplace changes as the plot progresses. The main character and narrator, Latimer,begins the story by informing the reader that he will share his lifeexperiences and secrets before death takes him in a month. From there, thestory takes a flashback structure into Latimer’s life.After a miserable childhood, where Latimernever had his father’s affection, nor his brother’s admiration, he was sent toGeneva to finish his education. Upon falling severely ill, Latimer’s fathercomes to take him home and this is when he has his first psychic experience.

Hesoon discovers that he is able to hear the disturbing thoughts of people aroundhim which makes him feel afraid and isolated. However, there was one individual’smind which Latimer wasn’t able to penetrate or read, and that person wasBertha, his brother’s fiancée. Latimer is immediately fascinated by herbeauty and mystery and he marries her after his brother falls off a horse anddies. After being married for some time, Latimer is finally able to readBertha’s mind, and he is shocked by her hatred towards him and her longing forhis death. When Bertha hires a new maid, Mrs.Archer, Latimer senses that he isbeginning to lose his ability to perceive other people’s thoughts. It becomessuspicious that although, Bertha and her maid seemed to like each other in thebeginning, the affection soon turns to hatred.

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One night, Charles Meunier, an old schoolfriend of Latimer, pays him a visit after total disconnection. Meanwhile, themaid falls ill and dies before the watchful eyes of Bertha. Charles who is adoctor, asks Latimer if he may experiment on the corpse. This results in hercoming back to life and confessing to being hired by Bertha to kill Latimer,and then proceeds to die again. After that shocking incident and revelation,Latimer and Bertha part ways. During the time Latimer spends travelling, hebecome ill and experiences his own death which he had predicted. He finisheshis story and gives himself over to death.

This novella contains many themes, one ofwhich is the supernatural. Latimer possesses supernatural powers, such as hisability to see the future and to read people’s thoughts. Another importanttheme is fate, the belief that no one can alter their destiny or path, and thatit is set by a supernatural force. There is no way of knowing if Latimer wouldhave been able to alter his fate or not.I enjoyed reading this novella more than I hadanticipated. The structure of the story and the focus on people’s thoughtrather than their actions are what I found interesting.

I believe that theauthor gave a brilliant presentation of the gothic fiction through “The LiftedVeil”. 

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