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Mexican Gothic
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Mexican Gothic Discussions > Question 6: The house

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Tiffany Breyne | 450 comments This book uses a lot of descriptive detail of the house and its surroundings. What stood out to you the most?

Lauren (theabelabelabel) | 9 comments The mushrooms! Mushrooms here, mushrooms there, mushrooms everywhere! All the mentions of mushrooms made me think they had something to do with the plot.

message 3: by Diana (new) - added it

Diana La Cazadora (strawberrykiss) | 195 comments Yes, mushrooms! There must have been 100 references to a snake eating its tail, too. I liked the tongue-in-cheek description of the English cemetery being foggy, spooky, and dark like you might see in a typical scary movie scene.

Becca Boland | 922 comments Mod
One of the things that stood out to me was the fact that the entire novel Noemi is being gaslighted and they exclusively use oil lamps (gas lamps) in the house. I know it is because it would impact the mushrooms/mold but I can't help but feel like it is symbolic.

Becca Boland | 922 comments Mod
I mentioned this interview in another thread but I thought this quote was really great too- she is discussing the house as a character:

"I think the best Gothic novels have a house that is very memorable, or in the case of The Shining, we might say a hotel or a building that is very memorable, since that is not exactly a house. But in the beginning of The Haunting [of Hill House], by Shirley Jackson, which I think is one of the best horror novels ever written, the opening line says, "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for 80 years and might stand for 80 more."

So I always love that description, because it gives Hill House a personality. It's not sane, it's a madhouse. And it speaks, and it dreams, and by correlation, it must be awake then, therefore, at some points. So it definitely has a personality. Manderley has a personality too. All these places, the environment and Gothic novels, going back also to kind of like the 19th century ones, is a very big part of it. There's certain characteristics of Gothic novels that I was playing with, and I had a list of tropes that I wanted to hit. And one of them is definitely the environment. And another one is the weather—there's always bad weather in these books."

Cary (carys14) | 139 comments All the mention of the mold made me cringe. Mold throws my allergies into a tailspin and I just couldn’t do it! Mushrooms okay. Creepy visions, sure. Spooky sounds, why not. But mold and mildew? No thank you!

Becca Boland | 922 comments Mod
@Cary - HA! That's real. Mushrooms can have a magical/whimsical quality if presented right (woodland scenes with red mushrooms with white spots) but there is NOTHING whimsical about mold!

Tiffany Breyne | 450 comments For a very long time, anytime I see mushrooms, eat mushrooms, or think of mushrooms, I will think of this book. I also imagine always feeling damp in that house, which would, aside from being spooky, drive me nuts.

Becca Boland | 922 comments Mod
@Tiffany - I'm really glad I don't like mushrooms. :)

message 10: by Joe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joe Wachter | 49 comments @Becca - I didn't think about the gaslighting/gas lighting symbolism but that totally works!

Becca Boland | 922 comments Mod
@Joe - I'm glad you agree. It really stood out to me.

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