Horror: A study on Clive Barker part 21, Revelations.
Welcome to part 21 of my study on Clive Barker. Today, we will be looking at his short story Revelations.
'Revelations' tells the story of two ghosts, Sadie and Buck. Sadie, tired of her husbands cheating way, had murdered her husband by shooting him in the chest with a gun. After a trail, Sadie was executed by the state of Texas. 30 years later, the two ghosts have returned to the motel where the murder took place in an attempt to work out their differences.
The two ghosts come to the room and find it is occupied by a couple, Virginia and John, who are having troubles of their own. Virginia is a psychic, who can sense the ghosts, and John is a touring preacher who abuses his wife whenever she does something he deems ungodly.
As the night progresses, Sadie whispers into Virginia's ear, telling her to stand up for herself, while Buck -disgusted by the fact that Sadie will not have sex with him- attempts to rape Virginia. After a series of events, Virginia obtains the same gun that killed Buck and attempts to use it to vanquish Buck. Firing the gun does vanquish Buck but the bullet hits and kills John.
Virginia decides to kill herself when Sadie convinces her that it would be a mistake. The story ends with Virginia surrendering to the police.
This is a great short story and there are four things I've taken away from it.
1. I really like the idea of Ghost whispering ideas into people's ears. I think Ghost stories are better when the ghosts try to manipulate vs. chase people around and kill them.
2. This story is very suspenseful. Each scene the tension becomes tighter, the conflict more personal and dangerous, and the stakes are raised. If you want to read a story that executes the concept of building towards the climax, this is the story to look at.
3. I really like the parallel between Sadie and Virginia. Sadie acts as a mentor to Virginia, and Sadie's plea for Virginia not to commit suicide almost acts as a redemption scene for the fact she's a murderer.
4. "Me getting shot. You getting the chair. It gives you some perverse satisfaction." ...."Yes." (Revelations by Clive Barker, page 89).
The above conversation is between Buck and Sadie as they talk about the murder. What I like about it is the honesty in their conversation. Sadie enjoyed killing and being killed. This concept -enjoying forbidden pleasures- repeats over and over again in Clive Barker's works and in many different forms. In fact, all the major and supporting characters attempt to gain some forbidden pleasure.
1. Sadie enjoyed the fact she killed her husband and was killed for it.
2. Buck tries to Rape Virginia.
3. Virginia takes forbidden pills.
4. Earl (a driver) cheats on his wife.
5. Lauran has sex with Earl, an older man.
6. John take pleasure in depriving himself of earthly pleasure.
The repeating of themes, Its one of the reasons I enjoy his work so much as it is a theme I like to explore as well.
This concludes my look at Revelations. If you have a thought or a question, please leave a like or comment!
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