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Literature / Jade Green

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Jade Green is a horror story by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

In the book, a fifteen year old girl by the name of Judith is forced to live with her uncle after she finds herself orphaned by her parents. He tells her about a girl by the name of Jade Green, who had committed suicide earlier by chopping off her hand. She also meets her creepy cousin Charles, and the miller's son Zeke, the latter of which she falls in love with.

After she brings something green to the house (which Uncle Geoffrey had told her not to do so), Jade Green ends up haunting the house.


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Jade Green contains examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Charles's motivations for staying at Uncle Geoffrey's household is that he is the town drunk and unemployed.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Jade Green killed herself by chopping off her hand and bleeding to death. As such, her ghost takes the form of her severed hand. It is ultimately revealed that Charles had done so when she tried to defend herself.
  • Big Bad: Charles.
  • Character Title: The story is named after Jade Green, the girl who came to the house before Judith.
  • Dirty Old Man: Cousin Charles is gradually revealed to be very lecherous as the story goes on. It is later revealed that he had killed and presumably raped Jade, and is planning to do the same to Judith.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Charles murders and presumably rapes Jade Green after she rejects his advances towards him...and is eventually revealed to be planning to do the same to Judith after she rejects him in the favor of the miller's son Zeke as well.
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  • Driven to Suicide: Jade Green. Subverted when it turns out that she didn't kill herself, and that it was Charles that did so.
  • Evil Is Petty: Other than being lecherous, one of the excuses Charles uses for his crimes is when Uncle Geoffrey decides to share some of the money in his will with Judith, even though he was still going to give enough money to support him for the rest of his life.
  • Foreshadowing: Cousin Charles is shown to be a very unpleasant character, and is hinted that he has something to do with Jade Green's death.
  • Hate Sink: Charles is lecherous, greedy, and all-around creepy. Then it's revealed that he's the villain.
  • Haunted House: The house becomes haunted after Judith disobeys Uncle Geoffrey and brings something green in the house (which was the picture of her deceased mother, which was wrapped in silk).
  • Karmic Death: Charles happily admits to Judith that he murdered Jade Green right before he attempts to rape and kill her...at that very moment, Jade Green comes into the room, and strangles him to death.
  • Kissing Cousins: Charles wants do this to Judith. Unsurprisingly, she refuses.
  • Obviously Evil: Curiously, despite Charles being an alcoholic and lecherous, only Judith seems to be creeped out by Charles. Mrs. Hasting does remark that he spends his time sponging off his father however.
  • Official Couple: Judith and Zeke gradually hook up...but unfortunately Charles is standing between them.
  • The Reveal: It is eventually revealed that Charles was the one who had killed Jade Green.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Charles sets the kitchen on fire after Uncle Geoffrey decides to give Judith money in his will.
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