The Striding Place – Short Story
This story follows a man, Weigall, that is on a hunting mission on his estate in august with his mates. His best Friend, Gilbert, goes missing. The friend group postulates what may have happened to him. Two days after the disappearance Weigall goes on a walk, he follows a river. This river leads to what he calls a ‘stride’ it is essentially described as a narrower steep part of the river with eddies throughout it, if anyone were to fall in it is very likely they would be sucked under and not survive. Weigall, who is just about turn away to walk home, sees something white in the waters beneath him. he recognises that its a hand. He grabs a branch to try to pull the person out of the the water, the hand grabs on and as he is pulled out weight begins to recognise the hand as gilberts. The struggle intensifies, but something breaks free, Gilbert is pulled under through ‘the stride’ to the calm pool at the bottom. Weigall pulls his friend out and tries to rescue him, however he is dead. In the story at the very end it say “peered into his face. There was no face”, i am not entirely sure what this meant but i think it might mean that the face he was looking and was no longer living… or it literally meant that there was no face.
The ideas of death and supernaturalism are discussed in this text.
the two men talk about what they believe happens to the soul when someone dies, one of them states “You believe in the soul as an independent entity, then — that it and the vital principle are not one and the same?” they believe that a mans soul lives on past the bodies life for a finite amount of time ” the tortured soul should take possession of the vacant skull and triumph once more for a few hours while old friends look their last?”
This one was a hard one for me, other then the idea of death it was hard to identify gothic elements in the text. Plus i found the short story really hard to read even thought it is only 6 or so pages long. I think the why that everything is worded is just say different to anything im use to it made it quite hard to get my head around what was actually going on, and never have i come across so many words that i dont really know the meaning of in such a short space.
The thing that i mention at the end of the first paragraph about the “no face” thing still has me quite confused too, it was a really odd and confusing way to end the story and i am dieting to know what the author actually mean when they said this, im not sure why but its just so interesting but at the same time it is also very annoying and unsatisfying.
This is an odd short story with not much of a point that i could identify yet it was still relatively interesting so thats alway as bonus.
“This striding place is called the ‘Strid,’
A name which it took of yore;
A thousand years hath it borne the name,
And it shall a thousand more.”