• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

‘The women in Black‘ and The Signalman

Extracts from this document...


Wide reading assignment Stories within the genre tend to be made up of similar elements we have looked at the devices used by the writers within the genre to see how a ghost story is constructed. As a class we have looked at two stories, one written by the author Susan hill. The name of the story is 'The women in Black'. This story has been written in the 20th century, the other book we have read is by Charles Dickens's, this story being called 'The Signalman'. Both of these stories have been written for the era of the 19th century. Susan Hill in her story has tried to imitate the language used by Charles Dickens and other writers of the era by using long and complicated sentence structures also the author has used 19th style text. The main reason I feel why Susan Hill has tried to imitate the writing style of that era is due to the fact ghost stories of that time were more realistic as people in the 21st century feel these were colder, dark and a more mysterious time to live in. In the genre of ghost stories there are certain things which are used as a basic structure for the story. These characteristics involve timing, setting and haunting, as well as this in a ghost story the author must build up suspense along with an atmosphere. 'The women in Black' is a lot longer than the signalman which means the story of 'the Woman in Black' can go into more detail, which I think is more effective than 'The Signalman's' 'Straight to the point' haunting. ...read more.


Kipps says that the Woman at the funeral had a 'wasted face' which straightaway makes you think of death. In addition to the isolation of both places there is a sense in both stories that both people who are being haunted are very lonely. In 'The Signalman' the signalman himself is very lonely as he is stuck down a tunnel on his own with no one to talk to. This makes the reader feel that there is a caution to this character and maybe he is just seeing things. In 'The Women in Black' Arthur Kipps is very lonely and agitated at the start of the novel losing all of his composure and awareness. This however is changed when he gets the companionship of a dog named spider. The novel at the start was about how Arthur Kipps was going to solve the mystery of eel Marsh house by himself. This though is not so, as slowly Arthur deteriorates leaving him with a lack of self-esteem. The dog is brought into the story not just as a dog but as a companion for Arthur. The dog is used for two reasons: The dog is a companion and a reality check for Arthur Kipps. Spider being a dog can supposedly sense death a lot better than a human so it he is there to find more clues about 'The Woman in Black' Both of these stories have certain elements about them, which gives the story an uncanny feel to them. 'The Women in Black' has a good start due to the description as you can imagine how the characters and settings would feel and look. ...read more.


This is furthered by the fact that he cant get into the nursery so instead he has to listen to noise making his reality slip away all the more so. In addition to the noises Arthur encounters at Eel Marsh house there is the unfamiliar sense of silence. The silence in the novel is always countered straight after by the act of the ghost or an unexplainable action that is in no way good. So when silence is broken out in the story this straight away puts the reader on edge as they no that some sort of haunting is about to happen. There is one difference between these two stories and that is time length. The story is only spread over a couple of days, but that is all it takes for the narrator to get involved. There is a slight bit of history told by the Signalman, this being the murders, but that is it. Also the story only ever takes place at the signal box. I feel this is due to the fact that it keeps all the tension in the story. 'The Woman in Black' is set over a lot longer period with over a hundred years of history before it. There is a lot of history behind Eel marsh house which Kipps finds clues to throughout the novel. A few clues that are in the plot are; the death with the pony and trap, the nursery room and at the very start of the novel where Kipps sees the children at the playground. All of these scenes are definite suspense builders putting the reader on the edge of his/her seat. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page Ben Jones 5/17/2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Signalman section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Signalman essays

  1. The black cottage - review.

    involved in the story which meant you didn't know who they exactly where and what they where doing in that area. If Dickens had included a character description it is inevitable that there wouldn't be so much tension in the story.

  2. Explain what makes a good mystery story, based on your understanding of 'The Red ...

    This 'chilly, echoing passage' is a common factor in a ghost story for it is dark, damp cold and dusty. The narrator mentions the 'echoes', this shows that the corridors are forever going. It is dimly lit, any sound can be heard and any movement made casts greatly magnified shadows onto the surrounding walls.

  1. 'The Signalman' and 'The Black Cat'

    He decides to go down and speak with the signalman when he realises he will be here again. He soon becomes very involved with the problems of the signalman. After the man told the narrator about his sightings the narrator tries to find explanations of the delusions.

  2. How effective do you find

    Dickens utilizes this technique well, and this is effective because it hides the identity of the being and makes it more appealing, without losing its "edge", making the reader want to read on. Dickens then builds up the tension, through the words of the signalman.

  1. A comparison between 'The Woman In Black' and 'The Signalman!'

    Bentley and although it was many years ago he can remember the smallest details of that day travelling up to London. Susan Hill also uses different place names and weather conditions to create an atmosphere of evil, for example, the nine lives cause-way, the mist and the fog.

  2. Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in "The Signalman", ...

    As a result of this, many people smoked it and smog grew around the city which proved perfect for crime. So the story was just a reflection of crime and "scum-society" in the age of setting. It was reflected on what was presently happening in the city of London, and on what was happening as a result of that.

  1. Comparing Two Ghost Stories, The Woman in Black and The Signalman.

    of 'The Woman in Black', and many strange details are pointed out by the narrator, such as the signalman looking and acting like a 'spirit, and not a man', and also his surroundings being 'barbarous' and 'depressing'. Already the two story are very different, 'The Woman in Black' having a

  2. Comparison of "Black veil" and "The Darkness out There".

    The streets were "imperfectly lighted," emphasising their gloominess. "Detecting desperate characters" proves to be impossible, the police are reluctant to patrol this area underlining the threatening atmosphere because criminals can do as they please. When he arrives, the surgeon is told that he is "too soon" by a man looking

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work