Theme of Regret in the Two Stories

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The story ‘The Hollow of the Three Hills’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne is involves an unnamed woman who is willing to sacrifice her life to know how her past situation and actions have affected the present. This is caused by hurting and humiliating the ones she loved in the past. The theme of regret is expressed through the woman’s decision to sacrifice her own life and through the author’s use of language. The effect of the past in the present is expressed through the woman’s choice to abandon her family. The second story ‘The Door in the Wall’ by H.G Wells is about Lionel Wallace finding everything he ever wanted in a garden and being robbed of that by the world. This is caused by him telling his family and schoolmates about the garden and being punished. Therefore, he is subconsciously blocked from entering the garden. As the years went by, he finds the garden in various places and occasions in which he had to choose between the garden and his career. He refused to go in the garden and later on regrets it which ultimately causes Lionel’s death. The theme of regret is expressed through Lionel not going into the garden and the effect of the past in the present is expressed through Lionel informing his family and schoolmates about the garden.

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Firstly, the theme of regret in ‘The Hollow of the Three Hills’ is communicated by the woman’s decision to sacrifice her own life in order to know how the past has affected the present. In page 2, paragraph 2: “I will do the bidding though I die”. In explanation, the woman had to attend a meeting with a witch to know about the present situation. This can only happen if the woman is willing to accept her demise. So this quote shows us that she is willing to accept her death because she regrets her past actions.

Secondly, the woman running away from her family and breaking their heart conveys the theme of regret. In page 4, first paragraph: “breathed against the daughter who had wrung the aged hearts of her parents, – the wife who had betrayed the trusting fondness of her husband, – the mother who had sinned against natural affection, and left her child to die.” This quote demonstrates the woman leaving her parents alone in a quite house humiliated and the woman breaking her vows to leave her husband broken hearted with the death of their child. She regrets leaving her family and that is one way the author conveys the theme of regret.

Thirdly, the theme of regret is conveyed by the author’s use of language. In page 2, paragraph 5, the woman says “Let me flee- let me flee and hide myself, that they may not look upon me!” This quote refers to the woman’s humiliation and her not wanting to be seen by her family. Feeling humiliated causes her to regret the past and so her humiliation conveys the theme of regret.

The second story, ‘The Door in the Wall,’ communicates the theme of regret through Lionel Wallace telling his family about the garden. In page 5, paragraph 2: “I tried to tell them, and my father gave me my first thrashing for telling lies. When afterwards I tried to tell my aunt, she punished me again for my wicked persistence.” This quote refers to his family punishing him for telling them about the garden because they had thought that he was lying. He regrets telling them about it because if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t be subconsciously blocked from entering the garden. This point can also be in the category of the effect of the past in the present. Wallace might have the chance to enter the garden more often if he hadn’t told his family about it and he wouldn’t have died which can really affect the present situation.

Secondly, the theme of regret is expressed by Lionel not going into the garden which was caused by his family. They made him consider that the garden was imaginary and this stopped him from entering the garden ever again. And later on in his life, he regrets not having what he always wanted which was entering the garden which leads to his death. So, one way the theme of regret is expressed through is by Lionel not going into the garden and by his death.

In the two stories ‘The Hollow of the Three Hills’ and ‘The Door in the Wall’, there seems to be more similarities than differences in them in terms of ideas. One of the similarities could be that both authors in the stories believe that there are repercussions for past mistakes. In ‘The Hollow of the Three Hills’, the woman abandons her family to live in a new life which ultimately leads to her death and in ‘The Door in the Wall’, Lionel regrets not going in the garden which also ultimately leads to his death. It seems like both authors believe that past mistakes can affect one’s life by consequences which may even lead to death.

In conclusion, the theme of regret in the story ‘The hollow of the three Hills’ is conveyed by the woman’s decision to sacrifice her life, and through the author’s use of language. The effect of the past in the present is expressed through the woman’s choice to leave her family behind for a new life. In the second story ‘The Door in the Wall’, the theme of regret is demonstrated by Lionel refusing from entering the garden and the effect of the past in the present is expressed through Lionel referring to his family and friends about the garden. The two stories also show that both the authors believe that making mistakes can have consequences which may even lead to death and that it is difficult to redeem oneself.

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Theme Of Regret In The Two Stories. (2021, Mar 28). Retrieved December 4, 2022 , from
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