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Woman in Black

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The differences between the humans characters and the ghost Introduction In this essay I will critically evaluate five main aspects between being human and a ghost in the novel, 'The Woman in Black'. I will cover the differences within: relationships, methods of interaction, appearance, movements and emotions. I will evidence how the author portrays the human characters and the ghost and to also draw upon the dog Spider, all of which are used to enhance the atmosphere and feelings within her novel. Relationships There are several relationship differences between the ghost and the humans. This is shown in the opening chapter by Arthur as he describes his affection for his second wife Esme, and states 'I would not have wished for anything to ruffle the surface of that calm, untroubled sea'. The author has used this metaphor to strongly describe to the reader how happy and fulfilled Arthur is within his life. In chapter three, Arthur meets with a stranger, Mr Daily. They converse and, through this interaction, they realise they have a connection with the deceased, Mrs Drablow. Arthur establishes that he may be the only one at the funeral when Mr Daily mentioned that Mrs Drablow lived alone and may have made her 'grow eccentric'. ...read more.


This helped Arthur to verify that his own feelings were real and that the strange sound they were hearing was affecting them both in the same way, for the same reasons, that something was not right, that something was there. It is not just about being human, it is about being alive. Appearance The previous point noted that 'interactions' are very different between ghosts and humans. Humans are social creatures and we find it strange when someone is in a 'world of their own' and, as with Arthur, tend to make all kinds of assumptions based on what we see and hear. Arthur's description that she may be suffering from some 'terrible wasting disease' and her skin being 'the thinnest layer of flesh... strained across her bones... regarded as incurable' makes the reader think of rotting flesh and death, that she may not be human. These 'signs' alone, did not allow Arthur to uncover the truth, but page 3 of 6 as the story develops, Arthur starts to open his mind and he begins to doubt what is real and unreal. The appearance of the children, looking on at the burial of Mrs Drablow, were a 'row of pale, solemn faces' they were 'quite motionless' looking 'so unlike children' who are generally 'animated and carefree'. ...read more.


These are 'echoes' of past human feelings from a 'poor, crazed, troubled woman, dead of grief and distress' named Jennet page 5 of 6 Humfrye. She had lost her own child and her bitterness turned into 'wickedness' that meant she could not rest. These powerful 'vibes' made her emotions 'live on'. The yearly death of a child within the village, appeared to be the result of these strong emotions from a past life. Towards the end of the story it is realised that the woman in black has only one mission, to hurt, to destroy and to make those who live, suffer, by the loss of their own children, leading to a continual revenge. Conclusion I have described and evaluated five main differences between the ghost and the human characters, within the 'Woman in Black'. In each area I have evidenced from the story, to show these differences and in some cases likenesses. I also explained that it is not only humans that are affected by ghostly events and that Spider the dog was also aware when a presence was felt. The evidence sets the feeling for the atmosphere and the tension that these differences create, resulting in a gripping, sometimes scary and tragic plot. SALLI ROBINSON Page 6 of 6 ?? ?? ?? ?? THE WOMAN IN BLACK By Susan Hill ...read more.

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