- Chapter One- Christmas Eve
- MONK'S PIECE
- A country house on Christmas Eve, sometime in the 1930s.
- A play on words? Arthur is not completely at peace in himself.
- Similar to Eel Marsh in it's remoteness and situation.
- Why? To face his fears? Because he cannot escape his past?
- In front is good lad, Arthur's present and future, behind is the heath, his past.
- MOVING FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
- Christmas is a time when good triumphs over evil.
- The safe, warm atmosphere of Monk' piece gives the reader a sense of security.
- Arthur has found people he can be happy with, but he has not escaped.
- Hill is self-referential, mocking the techniques of the ghost story whilst also paying tribute to them.
- Creation of a false sense of security for the reader.
- There is something depressing and troubling in Arthur's background-mentally buried but not extinct.
- The transitory nature of human nature and the folly of complacency.
- INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE
- Arthur loses his in Crythin Gifford.
- The young children sleep peacefully
- Arthur knows what true ghost stories are, his family does not.
- THE ROMANTIC
- Romantic movement: 1785-1830, interested in INNOCENCE corrupted by EXPERIENCE
- Key Theme of 'Frankenstein' and William Blake's "The songs of innocence and Experience."
- Arthur's attitude toward ghosts (experienced) with the innocence of his step-sons.
- MONK'S PIECE
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