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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 14 pages. Published first published July 10th More Details Original Title.
Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. Sort order. May 09, Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing. An unforgettable short tale from the pen of Uruguayan short story writer Horacio Quiroga. I have included a link at the bottom so you can read for yourself. Spoiler Alert: My analysis covers the entire story, beginning to end.
A blonde, angelic, and timid young girl, the childish fancies she had dreamed about being a bride had been chilled by her husband's rough character. But their house is so white — bare white walls, white panels, white columns, white statues — giving the impression of a winter palace.
All that bright glacial brilliance of white stucco would give anyone walking from room to room a distinct sense of unpleasant coldness. Retreat Into Oneself: In an attempt to ward off the white hostility of that white house, Alicia makes the decision to live like a sleeping beauty, to not so much as think of anything until Jordan arrived home in the evening.
There are many 19th and early 20th century tales of wives living out on stark isolated farms, miles away from friends, neighbors and family, that were driven mad by bare, white farmhouse walls. Proposed Cure: Alicia grows thin, suffers influenza and one day, with barely the strength to venture outdoors to the garden, through sobs and tears, cries out her fears to Jordan. From this point forward Alicia is bedridden. The doctor is summoned and prescribes calm and absolute rest.
I wonder how many thousands of women obliged to live in deadening isolation have likewise been prescribed calm and bed-rest. Of course, to suggest a change of scenery or even, more drastic, a change of lifestyle might upset the social order, thus much modern medicine and psychiatry is geared to maintaining the status quo and social stability, a stasis not necessarily in the best interest of the patient, particularly if the patient is a woman.
Jordan paces back and forth outside her bedroom door and, disappointed, despondent, paces back and forth alongside the bed. Alicia begins to have hallucinations, hazy figures wafting in the air and then floating down to the carpet; opening her eyes wide, she stares at the carpet, breaks out in a sweet and screams. A Jungian psychologist once told me that in our modern world the defining illness is now autism; back in the 19th century and early years of the 20th century, the defining illness was hysteria.
Hallucinations, Two: The next days offer Alicia no relief, the hallucinations continue, her most recurrent hallucination: an anthropoid down on the carpet, balancing on its fingertips, staring up at her. Our tale has shifted from illness to terror and horror. Monsters: There was a degree of letup during the day but at night the hallucinations became even more ferocious — Alicia felt as if her entire frail body was being squashed by a million-pound weight and she began to see monsters crawling on her bedspread.
She then lost consciousness and raved for two whole days while Jordan continued his pacing. And then, mercifully, Alicia died. When a person suffers in the agony of a unceasing living hell, death can be a release and relief — a fact more people in modern society, particularly in the medical industry, are well to keep in mind. Red Stains: Jordan approaches the bed and sees stains on the pillow he suspects are drops of blood. The servant says the stains look like punctures.
Jordan orders her to raise the pillow up to the light. The servant obeys but quickly drops the pillow, trembling. The mention of blood associated with a recent death brings immediately to mind the presence of a vampire. Is it any surprise such an image spawned and entire genre? He carried it out of the room, and on the dining room table he ripped open the case and the ticking with a slash.
The top feathers floated away, and the servant, her mouth opened wide, gave a scream of horror and covered her face with her clenched fists: in the bottom of the pillowcase, among the feathers, slowly moving its hairy legs, was a monstrous animal, a living viscous ball. It was so swollen one could scarcely make out its mouth.
And, the author warns us directly how it is not uncommon to encounter bloodsucking monsters in a feather pillow.
Such a tale of terror — the horror of the possible presence of a hidden monster that might suck our blood when we turn out the lights to go to sleep. Pleasant dreams. View all 16 comments. Ooh, that was good! Check your pillows folks before climbing in bed at nite, or else Bed bugs are terrible, especially the furry feathered kind that suck blood from your temples while you sleep.
Feb 16, Olman Says rated it it was amazing. In what feels like a forced marriage; the husband is stern and cold, while the wife is somewhat clinging to an unrequited romantic future.
In the end she is consumed by their silence. By their inability to exchange their needs in the shape of They are tiny, persistent and potentially dangerous. In Quiroga's metaphor however, this ginormous bedbug seems to drain away the hopeful love still living in the innocent wife. Young love indeed. Feb 03, Liz Jaikes rated it it was amazing. A truly terrific short horror story. Jun 04, Genie rated it it was amazing. Hauntingly beautiful.
A deadly read. Feb 13, Jess at JessicaWrites. Mar 10, Cassi McCarrick rated it it was amazing. I will never use a feather pillow ever again.
They bothered me before, and now I read this for Literature class. Nov 21, Samantha Buchheit rated it it was amazing Shelves: I really liked this short story! Jan 14, Heather added it Shelves: gothic , short-story.
Oct 04, Michelle rated it it was amazing. This was a very disturbing story-in a good weard way. An excellent must read! Nov 14, Jessica Nekuda added it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. I dont understand why the doctors never saw the puncture wounds? There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. Short Stories. About Horacio Quiroga. Horacio Quiroga. Horacio Silvestre Quiroga Forteza was an Uruguayan novelist, poet, and above all short story writer. He wrote stories which, in their jungle settings, use the supernatural and the bizarre to show the struggle of man and animal to survive.
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