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Based on the novel by Susan Hill. A young lawyer is sent to wind up the affairs of a deceased woman. He begins to put two and two together about her strange life, alone in a big mysterious house.

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Introduction

Based on the novel by Susan Hill. A young lawyer is sent to wind up the affairs of a deceased woman. He begins to put two and two together about her strange life, alone in a big mysterious house. Years later, he recounts his experiences in hopes of exorcising the ghosts of the past. A brilliantly effective spine-chiller - it plays on all our Primal Fears As a play, it binds the audience in its tightly-knitted plot which unravels an incredible sequence of events and as a theatrical experience, a poignant one that is never to be forgotten. IMAGINATIVE AND HIDEOUSLY REAL An elderly lawyer hires the services of a young actor to re-enact the experiences of his youth in an attempt to exorcise a ghost which has been haunting him. Their rehearsals conjure up a world of dark, secluded houses, petrified locals and a story which is both tragic and terrifying. With just two actors and minimal props, the atmosphere is ingeniously evoked through simple light and sound effects. In doing this, it proves that there's nothing more terrifying than your own imagination. These things that go bump in the night could be cliches if they weren't so devestatingly well delivered. There is no explicit violence or gore, but the suspense is enough to give the hardiest person the exciting chill of real fear. This production will have you on the edge of your seat (if not under it). The several moments of shock in Susan Hill's malevolent ghost story (primarily conveyed through Rod Mead's consummate sound design) provoke self-conscious laughter afterwards but, by God, does the audience jump. The two-handed adaptation on a near-bare stage allows maximum flexibility, successfully conjuring up a dog and a pony-trap, and allowing Jon Strickland both to make several bravura characterisations and to arouse humour in doing so (he's acting a non-actor acting these people). Against that, framing the narrative as a tale being told "in this theatre" allows for twenty-odd minutes of padding as the "real" protagonist and the actor engaged to represent him are seen to rehearse up the story. ...read more.

Middle

Fear intermingles with the festivities. Kipps was fearful of his memories, �I was trying to suppress my mounting unease, to hold back the rising flood of memory�. He describes how he would lie awake unable to sleep, sweating and going over and over the events that had taken place. He tells how he has been haunted and how he has suffered for years. He wonders if by writing it all down as a ghost story that perhaps then he can be free of the memory. But he then comes to the conclusion that he should keep it to himself and prays for strength, peace of mind and a blessing upon his family. He realises that for the moment he is in control of his emotions but that it won`t last �for, although I was in control of my emotions now, I dreaded the hours of darkness that lay ahead�. (p.23). Kipps tells how prayer helps him to come to terms with what has happened to him, �As I recited them aloud, a great peace came upon me�. The scene is now set and the anxiety and foreboding has begun, something sinister has happened to Kipps and we know that in chapter 2 �A London Particular�, the story of what happened to Kipps is about to unfold. He relates being called to attend an interview with Mr Bentley and although it was many years ago he can remember the smallest details of that day travelling up to London. Names of people and places now begin to create an atmosphere of evil �Alice Drablow� the house where she lived, �Eel Marsh House�. The fog surrounding London all help to create a sinister picture now he is leaving the fog of London for the North of England, called Crythin Gifford (a market town). Kipps felt cheerful that first night at the Crythin Gifford Inn. �On the whole, that night with my stomach full of home-cooked food, a pleasing drowsiness induced by good wine, and the sight of ...read more.

Conclusion

(p.158). Susan Hill has used the theme of evil in the novel as if it was another character. The evil makes the book effective, it brings fear and terror to Arthur Kipps and those affected by the ghost of the Woman in Black. The unexplained and the unknown is more frightening and for this reason I feel the novel is more effective. It is believable because Arthur Kipps was a calm, rational man who underwent a great change due to the evil he encountered. Jennet Humfrye was so full of hate that she wanted to exact her revenge on all those around her. It certainly is believable and with the elements of evil throughout and the climaxes, it certainly keeps the reader engrossed in the novel. �They asked for my story. I have told it � Enough�. 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. ESSAY PLAN Discuss how Susan Hill tackles the theme of evil through setting, language, plot, characters. 1. Introduction In this novel evil is an important theme covered in a number of ways through settings, characters, plot, storyline and through the descriptive language used. 2. Setting Show how Susan Hill 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. 3. Language Descriptive language helps to create evil. Susan Hill uses imagery, (similes and metaphors of evil) when describing, for example, weather in London, surroundings of Eel Marsh House and the ransacked Nursery. 4. Plot / Storyline Suspense is built up through the plot. Suspense / evil is created by:- Hints and clues given by characters, sightings of the ghost building up to a climax. Climax is the near death of Kipps on the marsh. At the end of the novel, an unsuspected climax � the deaths of his wife and child. ...read more.

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