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The opening three chapters of Wuthering Heights are very similar to chapters 5, 6 and 7 of The Woman in Black.

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Introduction

Wide reading Coursework: Wuthering Heights and The Woman in Black: The opening three chapters of Wuthering Heights are very similar to chapters 5, 6 and 7 of The Woman in Black. In Wuthering Heights, there is an outsider - Mr. Lockwood - who goes to visit Wuthering Heights. Similarly, in The Woman in Black, there is Arthur Kipps, also an outsider of the evil and supernatural in Crythin Gifford, who goes to visit Eel Marshouse. The fact that they are both city dwellers, unfamiliar with the remote and desolate regions that they find themselves in, is very important to both the stories. This is because it makes them both more vulnerable to danger and evil, and it creates a chilling atmosphere for the reader, who, in turn, is an outsider. Moreover, this makes us, the readers, empathize with Kipps and Lockwood, because while reading the stories, we sense in a way the same fear and anxiety that they do, mainly because we too are not familiar with the supernatural. Also, the fact that Kipps and Lockwood are outsiders makes them na�ve and less able to handle the situation that they find themselves in. This is essential to both stories, because it helps create an engaging atmosphere, and again empathy for both characters. Chapter 5 of The Woman in Black opens with the words "No car appeared," and we soon learn than a "shabby pony and trap" appeared instead. This means that there are no gadgets, or things which give a person any control. I think this is a good element for a ghost story, because ghosts do not traditionally equate with modernism, and cars are modern. We already sense that this place is locked into a past, different time, yet at this time, and in this village, they still use the pony and cart. There is hardly any luxury or comfort in this environment. ...read more.

Middle

However, the actual ghost is Cathy's, when she seems to come to Lockwood in a sort of dream-reality, and touches his hand. Mr. Lockwood is so na�ve at first, just like Kipps, and Lockwood is especially na�ve about Heathcliff. However, as we learn later on, Lockwood realises that Heathcliff is not a very admirable character. Everything that he initially believes totally changes towards the end of the story. Mr. Lockwood is in fact totally wrong about everything at first. He is wrong about his suitability as a friend, about his ability to fit in with Heathcliff and the family, and his ability to enjoy the landscape. It is noticeable that the tone of Lockwood's narrative is so optimistic and positive, and he is so sanguine. For example, at first, Lockwood admores Heathcliff's black eyes and brows, and imagined Heathcliff to be "a capital fellow" and his black brows would signify his shy character, and yet Heathcliff is the total opposite. In fact, his black eyes and brows could point out the malice and darkness beneath him. Lockwood is not welcomed at all in Wuthering Heights, and Heathcliff is so harsh and inhospitable towards him. He tells Lockwood to "walk in" so coldly, and even worse, he says that "with closed teeth." This imagery hints a rugged, animal-like character, almost inhuman or supernatural. Heathcliff then says to Lockwood "go to the Deuce!" This basically means "get lost" or "go to hell," and it is an extremely rude thing to say to a guest. It is obvious that Lockwood is really unwanted. He is seen as an intruder into Wuthering Heights, and he only comes in through gritted teeth. As Lockwood is in the house, he notices a lot of brutal imagery. The interiors of Wuthering Heights are just as unpleasant and cruel as the people living in it. For a start, there is not hallway or passage when entering the house. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a lot of description of Heathcliff with are so violent and animal-like. For example, he was questioning Lockwood while "crushing his nails into his palms, and grinding his teeth to subdue the maxillary convulsions." After having analysed the general setting and supernatural of both books, I can easily say that they have more similarities than differences. Even though there is about 150 years difference between both books, it feels as though there is only a few years between then two. The real difference that stands out between the books is an element of humour, which would be hard to succeed in The Woman in Black. The humour occurs in Wuthering Heights, when Lockwood is sarcastic and ironic at times. He doesn't take the situation very seriously at first. This tells us that one story is more intense than the other. It indicates that there is an intensity in The Woman in Black which may not be present at this point in Wuthering Heights. It is interesting to note the style and language used in both books. In Wuthering Heights, the language is self-consciously formal, to reflect the intelligence of the author. The sentences are long, there are frequent uses of semi-colons, and a lot of complex and demanding vocabulary is used, for example, words like "misanthropist" are complex, and have been chosen very carefully. This is mainly because in Victorian times, only the rich, higher-class people could read, and therefore, the books were written for them. In The Woman in Black, there are echoes of a traditional or archaic style in the language used, and there is a slight flavour of history. Susan Hill uses some sophisticated language, but it is more lucid and it's much looser and clearer than Wuthering Heights. The Woman in Black was deliberately written in a pre-modern style, with a formality about it. This is to create a gothic, historical feel. It could be possible that Susan Hill decided to do this because the best supernatural novels were written in the last century. ...read more.

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