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

    Charles took some interest in the conservatory, poking into the geranium pots with a cane; he liked the conservatory. He liked it because nobody seemed to come here, and he wanted to be independent and have his freedom because his mother and him had always lived with someone, and as

  1. 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'.

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

    The central components in the stories, the ghosts, are very dissimilar from each other. In M.R James' short story the ghost appears as an almost invisible, untouchable and unexplained force, only appearing when the whistle is blown.

  2. woman in black coursework

    Hill uses this to keep you guessing right to the end, she also repeats the epic of the pony and trap later on to add to the effect and to remind the reader of it. Arthur Kipps also finds three death certificates, two of the people who mentioned in the

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

    story or maybe his only ghost story he knew of was his experiences that had happened to him in the past. Finally when Mr Kipps has had enough he stands up and says "I am sorry to disappoint you, but I have no story to tell!"

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

    First of all she uses throughout the book onomatopoeia techniques such as "Clip-clop", "Rumble", "creek", "Boomed" and "Slammed". This brings out the realness of the novel also by using powerful adjectives to really describe emotions so that you can really feel how the narrator feel and that it becomes realistic "Terror, Horror, agony of fear, ravaged face."

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