Download The Tower by Marghanita Laski: A Classic Horror Story in PDF Format
The Tower by Marghanita Laski: A Review
The Tower by Marghanita Laski is a short story that was published in 1955. It is a chilling tale of a woman who climbs a mysterious tower in Italy and finds herself trapped in a nightmare. The story explores various themes such as fear, control, freedom, and change through the presentation of characters and setting. In this article, I will review the story and discuss its plot, characters, setting, themes, and style.
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The story begins with Caroline, a young English woman who is in Florence with her husband Neville for his business trip. She decides to take his car and go on a cultural excursion by herself while he is in a meeting. She visits several places that he has not seen or does not care about, such as churches, museums, and villas. She feels proud of her independence and adventurous spirit.
On her way back to Florence, she sees a sign for a tower called Niccolo di Ferramano. She remembers that Neville had told her about this tower and its connection to a scandalous story involving black magic and a young girl named Giovanna di Ferramano. Caroline decides to visit the tower before it gets dark, even though she feels a sense of dread and danger.
She drives to the foot of the hill where the tower stands among the ruins of a destroyed village. She leaves the car and starts climbing the narrow staircase that leads to the top of the tower. She counts every step as she goes up, ignoring her fear and curiosity. She reaches the top after 470 steps and finds a wooden door that opens to a circular stone platform. She sees a magnificent view of the countryside and feels exhilarated.
However, she also realizes that she is alone and vulnerable on the high tower. She decides to go back down before it gets too dark. She retraces her steps but soon discovers that something is wrong. The staircase seems endless and unfamiliar. She loses count of the steps and feels panic rising in her chest. She tries to calm herself and keep going down, hoping to find the exit.
She reaches what she thinks is the bottom of the tower but finds another wooden door instead of her car. She opens it and sees another circular stone platform with another view of the countryside. She realizes that she is still on the tower and that she has been going in circles. She screams in horror and despair.
The main characters in the story are Caroline and Neville, a married couple who have different personalities and interests. Caroline is bored and unhappy with her life as a wife who follows her husband around on his business trips. She longs for more excitement and freedom. She is also curious and adventurous, willing to explore new places and challenge herself.
Neville is a successful businessman who is arrogant and domineering. He does not care about Caroline's feelings or opinions. He treats her as an accessory who should obey him and admire him. He is also knowledgeable and cultured, but he uses his knowledge to impress others and belittle Caroline.
Their relationship is based on control and submission. Neville controls Caroline's movements, choices, and time. He decides where they go, what they see, and when they return. He also controls Caroline's mind by telling her what to think and feel about things. He makes her feel inferior and dependent on him.
Caroline submits to Neville's control out of habit and fear. She does not dare to contradict him or challenge him. She also fears losing him and being alone. She depends on him for security and comfort. However, she also resents him and rebels against him in subtle ways. She takes his car without his permission and visits places that he does not approve of. She also tries to assert her identity and independence by climbing the tower.
The setting of the story is the tower of Niccolo di Ferramano, a mysterious and sinister structure that stands on a hill in the Italian countryside. The tower is an important symbol in the story, as it represents Caroline's desire for freedom and adventure, as well as her fear and danger.
The tower is a symbol of freedom and adventure because it offers Caroline a chance to escape from Neville's control and boredom. It also offers her a challenge to test her courage and curiosity. It is a place where she can see new things and feel new emotions. It is a place where she can be herself and not Neville's wife.
However, the tower is also a symbol of fear and danger because it is isolated and unstable. It is surrounded by ruins and decay, suggesting a dark and violent past. It is also teetering and crumbling, suggesting a precarious and uncertain future. It is a place where Caroline can lose her way and her life. It is a place where she can be trapped and tormented.
The story explores several themes such as fear, control, freedom, and change. These themes are interrelated and contrasted throughout the story.
Fear is a dominant theme in the story, as Caroline experiences various types of fear while climbing the tower. She feels fear of the unknown, fear of the dark, fear of heights, fear of isolation, fear of losing control, fear of death, and fear of madness. Her fear grows as she goes up and down the tower, until it overwhelms her at the end.
Control is another theme in the story, as Neville exerts control over Caroline's life and mind. He decides what she can do, where she can go, and what she can think. He manipulates her with his words and actions. He makes her feel insecure and dependent on him. He also controls her perception of reality by telling her stories that influence her imagination.
Freedom is a theme that contrasts with control, as Caroline seeks freedom from Neville's control and boredom. She wants to have more choices, opportunities, and experiences in her life. She wants to explore new places and challenge herself. She wants to express her personality and identity. She wants to be free from Neville's influence and expectations.
Change is a theme that contrasts with freedom, as Caroline faces change in her life and environment while climbing the tower. She changes from being bored and unhappy to being excited and happy. She changes from being submissive and obedient to being rebellious and independent. She changes from being safe and comfortable to being unsafe and uncomfortable. She also changes from being sane and rational to being insane and irrational.
The story is written in third-person narrative by an unnamed narrator who closely follows Caroline's perspective. The narrator uses flashbacks, dialogues, descriptions, thoughts, feelings, and actions to reveal Caroline's character and situation. The narrator also uses suspense, foreshadowing, irony, symbolism, imagery, and tone to create an atmosphere of tension, mystery, horror, and tragedy.
The story uses suspense to keep the reader interested and engaged in the plot. The suspense is created by withholding information, delaying outcomes, increasing obstacles, creating dilemmas, raising questions, hinting at dangers, building expectations, breaking conventions, surprising twists, shocking revelations, cliffhangers, etc.
The story uses foreshadowing to hint at what will happen later in the plot. The foreshadowing is done by using clues, hints, suggestions, implications, associations, references, parallels, contrasts, etc.
The story uses irony to create contrast between what is expected and what actually happens in the plot. The irony is done by using verbal irony (saying one thing but meaning another), situational irony (when something happens that is opposite or different from what is expected), dramatic irony (when the reader knows something that the character does not), cosmic irony (when fate or destiny intervenes in human affairs), etc.
The story uses symbolism to represent abstract ideas or concepts through concrete objects or actions in the plot. The symbolism is done by using objects (such as the tower), actions (such as climbing), characters (such as Caroline), settings (such as Italy), etc.
details) to appeal to the reader's emotions and imagination. The imagery is done by using words and phrases that describe sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, movement, etc.
The story uses tone to convey the narrator's or the author's attitude towards the subject, characters, or events in the plot. The tone is done by using word choice, sentence structure, punctuation, figurative language, etc.
In conclusion, The Tower by Marghanita Laski is a captivating and terrifying short story that explores various themes such as fear, control, freedom, and change through the presentation of characters and setting. The story has a simple but effective plot that keeps the reader in suspense and shock. The story has realistic and complex characters that show the dynamics of a dysfunctional marriage and a woman's struggle for independence. The story has a symbolic and sinister setting that represents the woman's desire and danger. The story has a rich and powerful style that creates an atmosphere of tension, mystery, horror, and tragedy. I think this story is a masterpiece of psychological fiction that deserves more recognition and appreciation.
Who is Marghanita Laski?
Marghanita Laski was an English journalist and novelist who also wrote plays and stories. She was born in 1915 and died in 1988. She was known for her social satire and psychological fiction.
What is the genre of The Tower?
The Tower is a short story that belongs to the genre of psychological fiction. This genre focuses on the inner workings of the human mind, especially emotions, thoughts, motivations, conflicts, etc.
What is the message of The Tower?
The Tower has multiple messages that can be interpreted differently by different readers. Some possible messages are: Be careful what you wish for; Don't let fear control you; Don't let others control you; Don't lose yourself in your quest for freedom; Don't ignore your intuition; Don't mess with the supernatural; etc.
What is the significance of the title The Tower?
The title The Tower is significant because it refers to the main setting and symbol of the story. The tower represents Caroline's desire for freedom and adventure, as well as her fear and danger. It also represents her fate and destiny.
How does the story relate to feminism?
The story relates to feminism because it shows the oppression and subordination of women by men in society and marriage. It also shows the resistance and rebellion of women against this oppression and subordination. It also shows the challenges and consequences of women's quest for independence and equality.