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

Explore the ways Susan Hill presents the power of the supernatural in the novel The Woman in Black

Extracts from this document...


Explore the ways Susan Hill presents the power of the supernatural in the novel ‘The Woman in Black’ When the term ‘supernatural’ is defined, it means occurrences and forms are unexplainable and unnatural. In Susan Hill’s novel ‘The Woman in Black’ supernatural events take place through having inexplicable feelings and occurrences that even science cannot explain, which has the ability to terrorise the character in the novel. Susan Hill relies on the essential conventions of a ghost story; such as the remote, isolated house and setting supernatural events and a naïve, ignorant character. Hill also portrays the natural world throughout the novel, particularly using the weather through pathetic fallacy to establish an atmosphere of normality, creating a chilling backdrop to make the story seem realistic. As Hamlet states ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,/ Than are dreamt in your philosophy’ this links in with how Susan Hill is trying to make the reader believe in the supernatural. ...read more.


She sees the world struggling between the forces of good and evil, and although good prevails (Arthur Kipps survives his ordeal because he is essentially good and innocent) innocent people pay a dreadful price. Many people in Crythin Gifford have suffered the loss of young children in violent circumstances, including Mr Jerome. Throughout the novel Susan uses the weather to signal when terrible things are about to happen. Kipps? journey begins in a peasouper, a London fog, which suggests that his journey is to be clouded in mystery,7 and he travels to a place with an eerie name: Crythin Gifford. Other places have a connection with the supernatural, for example Nine Lives Causeway (a cat is said to have nine lives and thus escapes death regularly) and Gapemouth Tunnel (which suggests the jaws of Hell).8 Kipps? destination is shrouded in mist. There appears to be a conspiracy of silence surrounding Drablow?s affairs, and nobody will help Kipps ? all he receives is warnings and evasions. ...read more.


You may doubt it? We know.? The climax of Arthur Kipps? story is when Kipps? young son is catapulted from a pony trap and dies instantly as he hits a tree when the ghost steps out in front of the horse. Kipps is forced to witness this event as Jennet Humfrye was compelled to witness the drowning of her young son in the marshes off the Nine Lives Causeway. In this way, Hill presents the supernatural through careful manipulation of plot and structure as these two events are like a mirror image of each other. This provides symmetry to the structure. In comparison to other novels, The Woman in Black is relatively short. Susan Hill?s strength as writer is in creating atmosphere where the reader is seduced into a terrifying supernatural experience. The structure of the novel is carefully crafted to this end, the effects are created through skilful use of language and there is no unnecessary development of the minor characters, as this would detract from her purpose to thrill, chill and terrify. ...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 Susan Hill 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 Susan Hill essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Susan Hill use Gothic techniques to create tension and horror in the ...

    5 star(s)

    It is quite clear that Spider is not merely afraid by something; she is petrified. In most cases, an animal would have no reason to pretend to be afraid of something, which means that the reader can generally trust Spider.

  2. Woman in Black Question What features of language does hill use when describing ...

    of all the parks and gardens Adjective - Yellow fog, filthy evil-smelling fog Adverb - Groping their way blindly across roads, men and women took their lives in their hands.

  1. Susan Hill, in the introduction to 'The Woman In Black' acknowledges M.R. James' 'Oh, ...

    admits, "My spirits have for many years now been excessively affected by the ways of the weather." Although it is not pathetic fallacy, it is quite similar, the mood of the main character is affected by the weather. In 'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad' pathetic fallacy

  2. woman in black coursework

    same position as Arthur Kipps when he encounters everything in his journey. He describes his meeting with the Woman In Black that he 'felt an indescribable repulsion of fear.' This describes the unbearable fear that he felt with encountering the Woman In Black.

  1. Susan Hill's short story The Woman in Black.

    It is again this fear of the unknown that drives the reader to read on in search of answers. Though he can hear these noises, he cannot see them - raising the question of whether this is simply psychological toil.

  2. Is 'The Woman in Black' a successful ghost story? - Susan Hill believes that ...

    helps the tension and atmosphere of the fear that Arthur must be feeling. '...as a desperate, yearning, malevolence; it was as though she were searching for something she wanted, needed...' Also, when Arthur Kipps sees the ghost, alliteration is used, this is to emphasise the effective vision in the readers mind.

  1. Analysis of the themes of Ghosts and The Supernatural with close reference to ‘The ...

    Eldridge and knocked him to the ground. The cause of death was heart failure, but he was really killed by the same car that had killed his daughter. 'The Woman in Black' is about a ghost that haunts Eel Marsh House, an isolated house with a very dark secret.

  2. The Woman In Black ...

    This was a terrible scene when the pony and trap suddenly appear and has a horrible scene, giving off lots of suspense for further on in the story, and when the old lady? Appears 'the woman with the pale wasted face.

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