The Insanity of Reality in The Haunting of Hill House: Novel versus Adaptation.
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Both Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House and its 2018 Netflix adaptation of the same name revolve around the theme of absolute reality and the influence it has on the characters, but the two media differ greatly in the way they present it. The main differences relate to the ways the two texts play with the themes of trauma, death, life, and love, and how they represent conventional gothic tropes. The novel conceives of trauma as a lonely and inescapable force inside of us, and death is the pointless death of it all. In the adaptation, trauma is shared and externalised, and love seems to be a way of thinking outside of the absurdity of life and death. This research shows that an adaptation is not merely a copy; in adapting a work into a different medium, the work itself can be utterly transformed on a fundamental level. At the centre of the two texts lie two different conceptualisations of life itself.