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Sin and EvilMoral Values in Literature$
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Ronald Paulson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300120141

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300120141.001.0001

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Demonic and Banal Evil

Demonic and Banal Evil

(p.192) Chapter Six Demonic and Banal Evil
Sin and Evil

Ronald Paulson

Yale University Press

This chapter describes how possession, demonism, and vampires are related to haunting. Le Fanu's characteristic plot, as in “Green Tea” or even “Carmilla,” is “one in which the protagonist, whether deliberately or otherwise, opens his mind in such a way as to become subject to haunting by a figure which is unmistakably part of his own self.” In contemporary terms, Stephen King's good-natured dog Cujo is bitten by a rabid bat, which either releases the buried evil in the dog's nature or, vampirelike, possesses the good dog. The two models, then, are of the buried beast, with its roots in Original Sin, and the vampire; one producing fictions of doubling—the evil double, the return of the repressed shadow—and the other of demonic possession.

Keywords:   possession, demonism, vampires, haunting, Original Sin

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