The Success of The Woman in Black as a Ghost Story Essay

The Success of The Woman in Black as a Ghost Story Essay

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The Success of The Woman in Black as a Ghost Story

Susan Hill believes that the ghost depends on 'atmosphere' and 'a
sense of place'. However, a believable storyline and characters does
help bring out the atmosphere and place. 'The Woman in Black' is about
a man, Arthur Kipps. He is the narrator throughout the novel. Arthur
Kipps tells his most haunting revelation that had happened to him, and
how by writing his story as a novel, it was hoping to help exorcise
the ghost that still haunts him. He tells the story of when he was a
junior solicitor and, how he was ordered by his firm's partner to
travel up from London to attend a funeral and then sort out the papers
of the dead woman. While in Crythin Gifford he glimpses a young woman
with a wasted face, dressed all in black. He sees her at the back of
the church during Mrs Drablow's funeral, and again later in the
graveyard to one side of Eel Marsh House. He is the only one that
appears to see her. However, soon the lady in black slowly reveals
herself to him, as is her purpose.

The first passage is extracted from the chapter 'Across the Causeway'.
The first sighting that Arthur Kipps has with the woman in black is in
the churchyard after Mrs Drablow's funeral. Susan Hill picks the right
place to have Arthur Kipps' first sighting of the woman in black. She
has the setting in a churchyard. When the reader comes across
'churchyard' you get the image of fear and decay. Using this Susan
Hill goes into describing the churchyard in detail 'Ahead, where the
wall ended in a heap of dust and rubble, lay the grey water of the
estuary'. Susan Hill makes the image very precise. She also uses
distinct contrast, 'across the tall grasses, and wild flowers of
white and ...

... middle of paper ...

the question Arthur is asking himself 'why is it rocking?' He is
asking himself as well as the reader. 'someone has just got out of
it' However Arthur is the only one in the house. There is a sense of
unease as the windows are all closed so no one can get out. Susan Hill
makes the readers ask themselves questions why? Who could it be? She
keeps the reader in suspense.

Susan Hill Believes that a good ghost story depends on the
'atmosphere' and 'a sense of place'. There are many points which a
good ghost story should have unfamiliarity, a mystery, description and
much more. However I personally believe that without a believable
characters and storyline there is no basis of having atmosphere or a
sense of place. So overall, yes a ghost story does depend on
'atmosphere' and 'a sense of place' but it must contain a believable
story line with characters.

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