I read this book and although I did enjoy it very much, the ending left me rather confused as to what happened. I would love to hear others veiws about what they think happened.
Did you consider that the narrator was unreliable? Maybe he did it all? I have a full report on reading this book on my shelf and on my blog: http://raforall.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-im-reading-little-stranger.html
Or, maybe there was an evil spirit? I am going with the unreliable narrator is actually a serial killer theory though.
Well, to be honest I think the "little stranger", the evil thing, is the narrator's subconscious. Just like in the talk she had with Dr Seeley. That would explain why Caroline recognized the evil figure, that would explain the nightmare he had about looking into Caroline's frightened eyes... and that would explain why, when in the end he is wandering around the house and thinks he feels finally the evil presence he turns and sees himself, even if it's in a mirror.
Someone who has read this book please speak to me about the ending!!!!!
Mellyw, read my theory about the story that is printed above yours. Sr Faraday was very unreliable, had a huge inferiority complex, and wanted the house to himself, that he loved when he was a little boy. Yes, I think there was a troubled spirit in the house, but it was Faraday that pushed Caroline down the stairs.
This is a perfect novel for a book club in which members can discuss the various events, in particulat the confusing ending.
Dr Faraday, I believe, is 'the little stranger'. His appearance as a childon Empire Day at the beginning when his forces the acorn off the wall is very important. He has a huge inferiority complex, and thinks the house should belong to him. When he sees Rid's injured leg, he uses it as an excuse to ingratiate himself into the family.
There WAS a troubled spirit within the house, perhaps awoken by Faraday's electrical experiments, but the real evil is in Faraday. Faraday's dark side is shown when Caroline rejects him. He turns on her, and when Betty hears "YOU!" uttered by Caroline, I think she is saying it to Faraday, who fights with her and pushes her down the stairs. Faraday has access to the house, and when all the Ayres are gone, he at last has the house to himself.
A little frustrating that the conclusions weren't concrete, since the subtext of the pre-war England changing and old families identities crumbling after WWII was rewarding in a different way. The "ghost" represented the destruction of a family that refused to embrace change. Since that was true, it didn't really matter if the ghost was really a ghost or an insane family or a murdering "unreliable narrator."
Dr Faraday´s evil sprit, full of envy and rejection was the Little Stranger.
It reminded me of Brideshead Revisited.
Agree with everyone-- Faraday was responsible for a lot of it. I definitely think he pushed Caroline (or he had an out of body experience and his spirit did, which would explain why Betty didn't see him). Waters gives us a clue with the ending lines saying he only saw his reflection. By getting rid of the Ayres family, he was able to own Hundreds in a way since it's abandoned now. I find it so creepy that he would let himself in whenever he wanted. Any normal person would never go back there because of the deaths. I think he orchestrated the whole thing (not only with poltergeist activity and the electricity for Rod's leg), but also making them believe they were crazy. Those drugs he was giving them didn't help either! He absolutely put something in Caroline's soup or drink after the funeral, which made her so sleepy that she agreed to marry him. I don't think I suspected him until that moment though. He became so manic and crazed.
Was anyone absolutely furious at the Ayres family for not moving out?! I would have sold that place after the fire and got out of there right away. Of course we wouldn't have a story then... haha. I'm really sad about the outcome though because Faraday got away with it. That makes me sick.
I agree that Dr Faraday was responsible as towards the end of the book he talked about a "dream" that he had whilst parked by the pond after treating the man with appendicitis, he dreamt of going towards Hundreds and then the dream coming to nothing but to me that could have been his spirit or even himself going to the house as that was the time Caroline was supposed to have fallen down the stairs to her death.
I always agreed that Faraday was creating a poltergeist with his negative energies and created most of the experiences within the novel, but I felt he was unaware that he was doing so, the entire thing was unconscious. Now that I have read these responses i am wondering just how much he was responsible for and just how aware he was. I never considered before that his electrical experiments created the force, or that he was controlling the family with the drugs he gave them, interesting theories, thanks, you've got me thinking now!