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Mystic Features in “Don’t Look Now” by Daphne du Maurier

The short tale “don’t look now” by Daphne du Maurier has incredible fright. The story started off at a family home in England. It involved a blissful couple John and Laura Baxter. One day, as a routine, they were seated calmly within their home compound with their children playing. Their daughter was playing with a ball next to a pond in the home. She accidentally dropped the ball into the icy cold water and decided to go fetch it. Meanwhile, the dad was perusing through photos of his construction work in Venice. He had a project work of renovating a church in Venice.

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John, by mistake, trickled some water on one of the images he was looking at. The color on the image got wet resulting in blood like appearance. Immediately, using intuition, John felt something was a miss and jumped out of his seat. To his amazement, his daughter had drowned in the pool. The terrifying ordeal occurred in an unexplainable manner. In addition to the blood-like sight John had experienced in one of his photos, the daughter died. These events gave the play a spooky outlook from the onset. In a peaceful atmosphere tragedy struck in an appalling manner.

Conversely, the major fundamentals of the tale were staged in Venice. The features were entirely detected by du Maurier on her retreat to the town. She noticed two elderly sisters one being sightless. Laura also thought she had seen a young girl in a fairy headcover coat seated. This misconception happened at a restaurant and it gave the story a dreadful turn. The narrative revolved around the couple’s encounter with a sightless old woman. The intrigues that followed were centered on a chain of events. The episodes were associated with mystic and psychic similarities. In the script of the story, it began with the expression, ‘Don’t look now,’ John said to his wife, ‘but there are a couple of old girls two tables away who are trying to hypnotize me’. This statement brought the elderly women onto the platform in the story. The outrageous turn of events, exposed in the subsections that followed, made the ‘don’t look now a skilled bit of script.

The Baxter’s, John, and his wife Laura took a vacation to Venice after the demise of their little female child. At a café, the couple stumbled upon two aged Scottish sisters. One of the sisters was sightless and had psychic characteristics. The telepathist purported to have seen Laura’s dead girl appearing jovial and seated amid her and her husband. The lady went on further to imply that the girl was warning them of looming danger on their lives. Laura’s husband had lots of doubts concerning the information. However, news about the joy of their girl elevated Laura out of despair (Barrett 2). The act by which the couples bumped into the weird woman, gave the tale a supernatural aspect. The claims made by the old woman were beyond human consideration. It was shocking how somebody who rarely knew the couple could speak about their dead daughter. This led John to dismiss the claims as they were not humanly possible. John and his wife later returned to the hotel where they got intimate. This was a part of the play that showed lovemaking. It diverts attention from the mystical episodes. At this point, the story took a gratifying twist. It was a deserved relief from the horror experiences.

Laura, all of a sudden, had to travel back home as their son was taken ill. John directed her to go and attend to their son; she left the husband in Venice. The clairvoyant lady had earlier warned them of a murderer running loose in town. She alleged that the villain killed youthful women and discarded their bodies in the inland waterways. As John traveled on a commuter boat in an impressive inland waterway, he perceived seeing a strange form. The vessel he was in bypassed an additional ferry with his wife and the two Scottish sisters. The craft looked like a memorial service vessel (Bryn 4). The form could be termed as weird since Laura had left the town for home. He recalled the old woman’s allegations about dead bodies being dumped into the canals. John then reflected on how his daughter had died. He started noticing a miniature being in a crimson red waterproof coat vanishing around bends. John was certainly disturbed by the incidences. In confusion, he thought it was best if he retreated back to the lodge.

Mr. Baxter rushed back to the hotel only to discover that his wife was nowhere to be found. Since he could not find Laura, an apparent judgment came to him. His thinking was that she had been captured by the spell of the two old women. John’s views increased creepiness in the play in that; supernatural powers were brought into perspective. He had earlier dismissed the assertions by the woman, yet, he later believed in supernatural possibilities. The story continued progressively. It gripped John into an acceptance of the old woman’s words. The clairvoyant woman had talked of looming danger on John’s life; this could have rung in his mind.

John in terror reported the matter to the authorities. Unluckily, the law enforcers already had to deal with pursuing a brutal killer. The police machinery was heavily involved in the hunt. This left John without any assistance. The news of an inhumane killer on the loose added to the bizarre happenings of the story. John must have suffered a dreadful experience when he went to the police. In his mind he sought assistance to locate his wife, but, he was met with the news that more risk was out there in the form of a dangerous assassin. The earlier threat warning, supposedly passed by his dead daughter, might have been rekindled in John’s mind. Utterances around had it that an ongoing slayer was threatening people in the town (Jenny 1). The buzz being peddled added supernatural aspects to the saga. Venice a town known for its romance and joy had turned out to be a dangerous place. Later John, in astonishment, got a call from his wife in England. Laura gave her husband an assurance that everything was alright with their son. Comforted, John trusted with the hope that the tribulations had come to an end.

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From the onset, the Baxter’s were faced with many challenges. They had to grapple with the sudden loss of their daughter to a drowning accident. This occurrence was mysterious and gave the story a death experience start. The couple traveled to Venice as John had some work to do there. It was in Venice that they met more mystical confrontations. There were few visitors to the town as it was winter season. They met mystical allusions and connections related to the demise of their little girl. The insinuations created confusion and puzzled the couple. At a restaurant, Laura bumped into two ladies. One was sightless and a spiritualist. The blind woman studied Laura and spotted her deceased little girl’s soul. This incident demonstrated a paranormal experience to Laura. She fainted as a result of the occurrence (Bryn 1). It perplexed Laura how the old woman could have had information regarding her daughter. This was out of this world and definitely could only be termed as spiritualistic.

Later, while on a vessel, John got disturbed by pictures of his little girl in a crimson waterproof jacket. The Venice canals and reflections from windows of structures increased his nervousness and fear sneaked in. He immediately saw his wife and the two ladies, ignorant of the earlier travel by Laura, as they passed on an internment barge. His thoughts baffled him, the episode that appeared like a dream turned out to be a scary intuition. The events were so dramatic that they left John’s mind confused (Bryn 3). The happenings were so striking that they gave the story a spiritualist outlook. John was bombarded with images in his mind that caused him to have haphazard behaviors. He rushed back to the hotel in pursuit of his wife who, in essence, was away in England. The story concludes with a sad, although pleasing close. They are at a church that amalgamates all the horror into a foregone issue. The freeze experience was finally put to rest.

‘Don’t look now is a story that captured the true core of Maurier’s style of story narration. It started off in a serine family setting and that is that. Immediately, the story undergoes tragedies in a wired chain reaction. The creepy events followed each other in an organized fashion. This trend kept the audience guessing what was next? Maurier took a deserved interlude with the intercourse scene at the hotel. This view gave the play a break from the ongoing events. ‘Don’t look now’ was a story that was ahead of its time.

References

Barrett, Frank. The Location Hunters: A Look that Lingers in the Venice mist: In dark alleys off the Grand Canal, Frank Barrett rediscovers the sinister beauty of Nic Roeg’s film, Don’t Look Now. 1994. Web.

Bryn, Davids. Don’t Look Now. Horrorphile. 2008. Web.

Jenny, Sadish. Don’t Look Now. Shelf Love. Word Press. 2009. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Mystic Features in “Don’t Look Now” by Daphne du Maurier." November 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/mystic-features-in-dont-look-now-by-daphne-du-maurier/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Mystic Features in “Don’t Look Now” by Daphne du Maurier." November 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/mystic-features-in-dont-look-now-by-daphne-du-maurier/.

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