The Door in the Wall

 

H. G. Wells, "The Door in the Wall" in The Door in the Wall and Other Stories (1911).


Raised on Thomas Ligotti’s brand of horror has taught the eye to spot the miserable paradoxes of being this thing we call human. H. G. Wells’ "The Door in the Wall" is, in part, a study on the paradoxes associated with desire. In the story, Wallace, like a Lovecraftian character, is both drawn to and repulsed by the weird, in this case, an enchanted garden behind a green door discovered as a child. Now 40, Wallace has had this strongest of desires his whole life to find and re-visit the garden, but, at the same time, when confronted with the opportunity, he chooses the mundane over the fantastic time-and-time again. The paradox that begins to take shape: what he most desires is not really what he desires most! Desire is a strange thing. By their very definition, we want our desires satisfied, but at the same time, we would not desire a life with all of our desires satisfied. And again, we find another Ligotti-like abominable characteristic at the root of our natures. 

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