Books and Movies Reviews

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: Buried Treasure

The members of our society have a desire to keep the details of their lives to themselves.Many people keep the things they are ashamed of to themselves.Others refuse to share the best parts of their lives with others.The human desire to hide the good and the bad of their lives from society is demonstrated by the reoccurring motif of buried treasure in Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.The good represented by the buried treasure is the solitude and the increasing love between two sisters.The bad the treasure represents is the horrific event that caused the death of most of the family.Jackson also explores the consequences for uncovering this treasure.
Merricat and Constance are sisters who live out their lives isolated from the rest of the world.This is the life they enjoy.The motif of buried treasure is used to represent the solitude that the sisters share and how this solitude causes an increase in thelove they share.
On Sunday mornings I examined my safeguards, the box of silver dollars I had buried by the creek, and the doll buried in the long field, and the book nailed to the tree in the pine woods; so long as they were where I had put them nothing could get in to harm us…All our land was enriched with my treasures buried in it, thickly inhabited just below the surface with my marbles and my teeth and my colored stones, all perhaps turned to jewels by now, held together under the ground in a powerful taunt web which never loosened, but held fast to guard us (59).
This quote connects the motif of buried treasure to the themes.Living out their lives in solitude, buried away from the rest of the world, the love Merricat and Constance have for one another has increased and ;turned to jewels.;Once their uncle, the last remaining relative, perishes, instead of feeling grief,Merricat states that she finally has her sister all to herself (169).Although the thought is morbi…


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