‘It Isn’t Right to Build so Close to the Woods’: Humans and the Forest
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The idea of whether or not the Gothic forest can ever exist distinctly from human influence comes into full focus in this chapter. Here, the focus is on texts in which it is humans that contaminate and make the forest a sinister location. Reading titles as varied as The Ceremonies (1984) and The Cabin in the Woods (2012), this chapter explores our ideas and stereotypes about humans that choose to live in the forest. It interrogates, too, the notion that ‘untouched’ wilderness is now an impossibility, the potentially paradoxical nature of the idea of ‘humans in the wild’, and the intriguing tendencies in horror stories about the natural world to centre on versions of Nature designed and constructed by the human.