Tom Hillard argues that Puritanism left behind a legacy of ecophobia, fear or suspicion of the natural world, which is especially evident in American Gothic fiction and film. The wilderness is “fallen,” even “cursed,” marked by the “guilty secret” of our sinful nature (Hillard 112). Puritans were taught to read typologically, to look for meaningful signs and symbols in the world around them, but these signs can
also be misleading or inscrutable. One can get lost in the woods trying to read the signs, as in Hillard\’s principal example, The Blair Witch. Consider these issues in Laird Hunt’s novel In the House in the Dark of the Woods or the film The Witch, or in both texts. Do these works portray nature as fallen or corrupt, or do they offer alternative understandings of the natural world, counternarratives to the Puritan notion of wilderness Hillard describes? What are the implications of straying into the woods in these texts? Because they feature prominent female characters, you could also explore how gender shapes their stories of moving or wandering into wilder places beyond the village or settlement. What terrors or possibilities do these women find in the forest? <- The two sources that my professor gave us was Hunt’s novel, “In the House in the Dark of the Woods” and Robert Egger’s film, “The Witch” he also stated how we need 3 secondary scholary sources for this essay about how nature and witchcraft were perceived in Puritan and Modern times (comparing and contrasting, among other topics as mentioned in the prompt). Again, thank you so much for doing this essay for me, I really appreciate you and please email me if you have any questions.


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