Personification is also used in the description of the fog. “Fog was outdoors, hanging over the river, creeping in and out of alleyways and passages, swirling thickly between the bare trees of all the parks and gardens of the city and indoors, too, seething through cracks and crannies like sour breath, gaining a sly entrance at every opening of a door” The use of personification makes the fog seem more evil and alive and the choice of verbs like “creeping” and “swirling” also emphasis that the fog is alive and “sour breath” appeals to the sense of smell and suggests the fog is a monster.
Susan Hill also uses names very effectively. The names give extra information about the place or person. The clerk’s name is “Tomes”. The word “tome” means a big book; this tells you he probably lives his life surrounded by stacks of books and overall lives a very unhealthy life.
Susan Hill names the causeway “Nine Lives Causeway”. This suggests that you may need nine lives to cross it or that the causeway has already taken nine lives and yours maybe next.
She also uses the name technique for “Eel Marsh House”, the name has connotations of hidden life like snakes and “marsh” suggests wetness and dampness.
Furthermore she uses the technique for “Mrs Drablow” The “drab” part of the name has connotations of being dull, not colourful and uninteresting and the “low” part suggests sadness and depression.
In the description of the fog imagery is also used, “Pools of sulphurous yellow light, of some random corners of some circle of the inferno.”……”boiling cauldron”……”what figures I could make out fumbling their way through the murk” This creates a very frightening atmosphere and prepares you for the ghostly happenings later on in the story.
Atmosphere is also created by using diction in the sound of the church bell. “A church bell began to toll” The ‘o’ sound suggests sadness.
Lastly we find Susan Hill creates atmosphere by appealing to the sense of sound, “in the streets, there was a din of breaks grinding and horns blowing, and the shouts of a hundred drives, slowed down and blinded by the fog”, this suggests the fog is causing danger, uncertainty and overall a huge kafuffle in the London streets.
Therefore we can see that Susan Hill is creating a hellish atmosphere in this chapter. She does this to prepare you for the rest of the story and to make you want to read on.