Taken from her The Complete Shorter Fiction collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed female narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Woolf may be exploring the theme of struggle. Both the deceased man and woman are searching for something love yet they cannot find what they are looking for at the beginning of the story.
She does not, however, try to keep the reader in suspense regarding the mysterious openings and closings of doors and windows that she and her husband witness. Despite the fact that she knows two ghosts wander through her home, she is not afraid. The ghosts, after all, mean the narrator and her husband no harm.
The ghosts clearly are conducting a search. They look for something that may have been left out in the garden, or perhaps up in the loft. The mystery is deepened by the response of the house itself to the searchers; it has a pulse that quickens as the ghosts seem on the verge of recovering whatever it is they have lost.
The house also speaks of a treasure hidden somewhere within its rooms.
This must be what the ghosts are looking for. They lived in the house as man and wife hundreds of years before. After the woman died suddenly, the man abandoned the house and wandered throughout the globe.
After his death, he returned to be reunited with his wife. The narrator realizes that what the man could not find on his journey, and what the ghost couple still seek, is the joy of a loving relationship. She overhears the ghost husband tell his wife that their lives were full of kisses without number.
Eventually the ghosts come on the narrator and her husband asleep in their bed. The ghosts seem to realize that the living couple may feel the kind of love that they themselves once shared.
The ghosts have buried their emotional treasure in the narrator and her husband—in their living love. She calls this feeling of joy and love the light in the heart.A Haunted House Short story analysis By Virginia Woolf Prepared By An Illustration Introduction Intrinsic Elements Character Conflict Point of View Theme Literacy Divices Plot Discussion Approach Introduction Two ghosts, a male and a female, a couple, go around their former house searching for some buried treasure.
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In order to survive the kind of hypocrisy sometimes displayed by otherwise tolerant people when faced with the subject of a sex change, a very resilient sense of humour is called for.