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

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Introduction

A comparison between 'The Woman In Black' and 'The Signalman!' When reading both ghost stories, 'The Woman in Black,' and 'The Signalman,' the text which I enjoyed and prefered was the 'Woman in Black.' Susan Hill, the author of this novel creates a menacing and baleful atmosphere that can be rather unsettling for any reader. She also creates a presence of evil throughout the story, as it is portrayed through setting, characters, plot and descriptive language. Susan Hill sets the first scene in the first chapter with the description of the pleasant festive meal, which had taken place on Christmas Eve at Monk's Piece. Arthur Kipps the narrator was fearful of his memories intermingling with the festivities, as his family were rather keen for him to tell a ghost story, " I was trying to suppress my mounting unease, to hold back the rising flood of memory." Unfortunately no one in his family knew what he had been through earlier in his life, when he came to terms with the Woman in Black. The beginnings of both texts are completely different. When first reading, 'The Signalman,' it appears that the signalman is in a remote location as it is in a cutting where a train passes through. ...read more.

Middle

But it is more than we know of the visitor who, along with the signalman, remains nameless and he seems to have no apparent reason for his visit to the signalman and shows no earlier or previous relationship him. Charles Dickens leaves many things unknown. Firstly we know little about the signalman's past but what we do know doesn't seem to add up to this present situation. We know he is well-educated man but is strange as a signalman is a rather lowly post. We know that he ran wild in his youth, but we know not of the circumstances. However, both these narrators have something in common as they both look back on incidents. The haunting in, 'The Signalman,' conveys irony and sadness for the signalman rather than trying to frighten the reader. Charles Dickens does this particularly well and if the text is read well you can sympathise with the signalman and what the ghost is doing to him. The author does this well in my opinion. In the nursery in, 'The Woman in Black,' the woman in black has just got off the chair and passes Arthur Kipps. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was a happy scene depicting good when suddenly Kipps sees the ghost of Jennet Humfrye-everything changed-good changed to evil. The story sadly finishes with Stella and the baby dying instantly. Whenever her ghost is seen, a child dies but in this instant Kipps wife also dies. The character Jennet Humpfrye comes across as a very bitter woman as she cannot forgive her sister, Alice Drablow for the death of her son Nathaniel. She sees her sister as someone who robbed her of happiness and motherhood and would never allow her to forget it. Thus, she therefore took her revenge on those living locally by haunting them. Susan Hill has used the theme of evil in the novel as if there was another character. The evil makes the book effective. It is believeable as well because Arthur Kipps was a calm, rational man who underwent a great change due to the evil he encountered. The ending of the story is very dramatic and makes the reader feel that Kipps really doesn't want to say anymore and will be glad to put the past to rest. " They asked for my story. Ihave told it - Enough." This was why I preferred, 'The Woman in Black,' as it enticed you into the novel. ...read more.

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