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

'Woman in Black'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Woman in Black' The story of Arthur's haunting by Jennet Humphrey is told with an effective narrative technique. The most obvious device employed, initially, by Susan Hill, is to tell the story in flashback. As soon as Arthur decides to commit his story to paper we leave the present narrative. In 'Christmas Eve', the opening chapter of the story starts full of 'Cheerfulness and bustle'. Susan Hill interests the reader when she sets up a happy atmosphere. The peaceful beginning contrasts well with the dramatic ending of violence, suddenness and 'cold fear', which seems to be dealt with briefly to prevent pain for Arthur. At the beginning of the novel the writer drops seeds that point to the future and give hints of something dreadful to come, 'Long shadow of the past', 'woven into my fibres'. Hill is signalling that something awful has happened that will always be with Arthur. This leaves many unanswered questions for the reader to think about, 'what has happened in the past to make Arthur so unhappy?' Further on in the novel the reader is introduced to Stella, Arthur's fianc�e. ...read more.

Middle

Drablow's funeral, 'Mr. Jerome looked frozen, pale'. The reactions create an element of mystery to the novel and the reader is encouraged to read on. Throughout the novel Hill describes the weather in great detail. This is apparent in the second chapter when she describes the London fog 'the thickest of London pea-soupers,' suggesting that it is dense and green. Hill gives the impression that the fog is everywhere, 'outdoors', 'hanging over the river,' and 'creeping in and out of alleyways'. Alliterative present participles are used such as, 'swirling' and 'seething' to portray a vivid picture in the reader's mind. Hill often links the detailed description of the weather with Arthur's roller coaster of emotions using pathetic fallacy. The weather is used to reflect and emphasise Arthur's feelings and frame of mind. Arthur's mind often fluctuates from being upheld and cheerful to being terrified and in despair. It is this violent change in mood and detailed emotive language that keeps the reader in suspense of what event will happen next to disrupt his feelings. When the 'thick, damp' sea mist suddenly came 'rolling over the marshes' he suddenly feels disorientated and panic sets in. ...read more.

Conclusion

The pattern of events throughout the novel forces the reader to expect something dreadful to happen. The rapid change in Arthur's state of mind from being so happy and cheerful, along with his surroundings in the park, to being in a state of cold fear grabs the readers attention and plays with their emotions. Whilst Stella and the baby are taking a ride in a pony and trap, Arthur spots the 'Women in Black under a tree. He quickly realises that she is about to get revenge. The pony swerved and took off. Then a 'sickening thud' was heard. The baby had been thrown out of the cart and lay 'crumpled' and dead. Stella also died from her injuries a few months later. This devastating ending shocks the readers and Hill uses effective short sentences to end Arthur's story, 'They asked for my story. I have told it. Enough.' The fact the ending is dealt with so briefly may have been to prevent pain for Arthur. The ending is a complete contrast to the warm, happy Christmas Eve that introduced us to the haunting of 'The Woman in Black'. Claire Brown 4B 26 April 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 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)

    This makes the reader feel afraid, and also have empathy for the young solicitor. Susan Hill also creates fear and tension within the reader by having Kipps use a particularly brutal tool to attempt to force open a locked door.

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

    Then, the noise of horses is heard, Arthur's hopes are built up '...I heard a sound that lifted my heart...' This heightens optimism, though in the beginning of the sixth paragraph the optimism plunges down, and it was 'the mist played tricks with sound as well as sight'.

  1. The King of the Castle Character Assessment Joseph Hooper.

    silence if he is unhappy, because he feels that he can't talk to his mother, but he would talk to his father about his feelings. Kingshaw was very fearful about his bedroom, because it was the bedroom, which Edmund's grandfather had died in.

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

    The reader subsequently becomes anxious for Kipps to answer their questions, instead of 'beating about the bush'. The pace is slowed down, and realism is reintroduced, making for a shocking experience during what is arguably the third encounter. This leaves Kipps with not only sheer terror at what he sees

  1. Looking in detail at ‘The Woman in Black’explore how Susan Hill builds and sustains ...

    Tension levels are at their most when Mr Kipps is walking back to Eel Marsh House. He has decided to go back because there is no sign of Keckwick (the person who is supposed to be coming to take him back).

  2. How does Susan Hill evoke feelings of anxiety and fear in the reader?

    She does this to build up the tension quickly as we know this is chilling and then goes straight into a next eerie passage. This is a example of the Chapter "In the Nursery" Arthur hears the pony and trap and then goes inside to hear the "Rocking" of the chair.

  1. woman in black coursework

    This quote appeals to the sense of taste the word 'salty' in this extract makes us feel like when we have eaten something too 'salty' it make you almost shudder so it makes us relate to the description by having that same feeling.

  2. The captivating and picturesque village of Cam, dwelling deep with in the beautiful Cotswold's ...

    Straining muscles, panting desperately, slowing my pace drastically. Another break, I never at any previous moment come near to estimating the physical and mental power needed to complete this pain-stacking ride.

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