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Answer: The supernatural element represents two very different concepts in the stories “The Hollow of the Three Hills” and “The Door in The Wall”, thus reflecting the differences in how both the authors view the supernatural element and how it affects humans.
In “The Hollow of The Three Hills” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the diction reflects the perspective of the people of that time period that sin was always related to the supernatural element, interchangeable with evil and was the opposite of religion and piety. This can be seen through how the author repeatedly speaks of how, “Such scenes as this (so gray tradition tells) were once a resort of a Power of Evil and his plighted subjects”, and also, “In the performance of an impious baptismal rite.”
In “The Door in The Wall” by H.G Wells however, the supernatural element represents a refuge from the harshness of everyday realities to the main character Lionel Wallace, as is shown by how he speaks of it with an inestimable desire,” I am haunted. I am haunted by something–that rather takes the light out of things, that fills me with longings,” as well as, “He began to tell of the thing that was hidden in his life, the haunting memory of a beauty and a happiness that filled his heart with insatiable longings that made all the interests and spectacle of worldly life seem dull and tedious and vain to him.”
In “The Hollow of The Three Hills” the supernatural element is represented by the surroundings and the old crone who ‘encounters’ the unnamed young woman in the hollow, as well as the visions she shows her. In “The Door in The Wall” the supernatural element is personified by the visions Lionel Wallace sees as a young child of a world he wholly preferred over what was his reality and is unable to go back to ever again.
In both Wells and Hawthorne’s stories the supernatural represents something beyond human imagination and capabilities. In “The Hollow of the Three Hills” it is so overwhelming to perceive the visions that the old Witch shows the young woman that she dies of shock, “I will do your bidding though I die,” replied the lady desperately” foreshadowing her untimely death.
In “The Door in The Wall” Lionel Wallace visits, “A bright little world quite cut off from every-day realities.” It takes over his life and is so much so the world he would rather live in that he spends his life looking for it, tormented by how he never finds it when he wants to, “I knew enough by this time not to seek again belatedly that which is not found by seeking”. Thus both stories show how the supernatural element is captivating, whether in a good or bad sense of the word.
The imagery in the texts is also quite different and varying in every way possible. The supernatural in “The Door in The Wall” is highlighted through warm and bright, welcoming imagery, “There was something in the very air of it that exhilarated, that gave one a sense of lightness and good happening and well being; there was something in the sight of it that made all its color clean and perfect and subtly luminous. In the instant of coming into it one was exquisitely glad–as only in rare moments and when one is young and joyful one can be glad in this world. And everything was beautiful there.”
Whereas in “The Hollow of the Three Hills” the imagery is twisted, harsh and cruel representing evil and danger. The old hag and the young woman encounter each other in a place removed from civilization and from humanity itself. “It is here, at midnight or on the dim verge of evening, they were said to stand round the mantling pool, disturbing its putrid waters”, and the atmosphere is also thick with wrongness, “Like lamplight on the wall of a sepulchre.” These descriptions represent decay, illness and death.
These scenes could be said to represent the characters mental states in a way. The young woman running away from the people that she loved, unable to live with the guilt of leaving them and that the scene reflects how dark and twisted her mind turned, wracked with guilt over how she had, “Broken her holiest of vows.”
And the pleasant atmosphere of Lionel Wallace’s dream world could represent a child’s imagination and innocence, having built the world he longed to live in within his head but being unable to believe in it enough to remain within it or venture back in when it appeared before him and also stated that, “I don’t remember that I ever attempted to find my way back to the garden in those early years.”

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