The Woman in Black Key Themes

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  • Created by: caitlin
  • Created on: 16-05-16 19:21

Themes

  • Isolation
  • fear
  • betrayal
  • revenge
  • influences of the past
  • the supernatural
  • appearances
  • madness
  • exploration
  • man and the natural world
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Eerie

Onomatopoeia

  • "hissing, silky sort of sound"
  • "rattle"

Sibilance

  • "silky sort of sound"

Alliteration

  • "bleached bone pale"

Constantly changing, clear skies to mist, heavy fog, water to marsh etc

  • "the marshes seemed to... merge without a break into the waters of the estuary, and the line of the horizon"

nature=volatile, distortion, unnaturalness, resembling WIB

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Death

Eel Marsh House 

it is constantly surrounded by a looming fog and mist which appears to be alive

  • "mst like a damp, clinging cobwebby thing"
  • "it smelled and  tasted... salty, light and pale"
  • "as though it were made up of millions of live fingers that crept over me"
  • "moving, shifting mist"
  • "swirling mist"

unlike the "choking and thick and still" mist of London around Eel Marsh House it seems to be alive

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Death

Eel Marsh House,

flat seeming to stretch forever

  • "the marshes seem to spread in every direction"
  • "the wide, bare openness of it"

the colours used to describe it are pale and cold - death

  • "house of grey stone"
  • "salt-bleached grass"
  • "bleached-bone pale"

Arthur describes the journey like "driving towards the end of the world" left normality, entered a place of the dead/metaphysical

only path back is the "Nine Lives Causeway", like escaping death= ghostly, death like cats lives, like a purgatory

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Isolation

  • common element in ghost stories, protagonist trapped, alone, far away from help
  • theme of isolation from beginning when Arthur's inability to participate in the ghost stories set him apart,
  • he is then taken away from his fiancee and home in London to attend the buisness of the isolated Drablow estate
  • Alice Drablow, the usbject herself was completely ostracized from the world
  • Jennet Hunfrye too was isolated as she was sent away after having a child out of wedlock

 

isolation shown in 

  • the setting
  • Arthurs physicality
  • Keckwick and Mr Jerome isolated in their fear
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Influences from the past

How the past is inescapable...

  • Arthur tries to leave past behind, to feel secure at Monks Piece, yet is reminded of the hauntings from his past, showing fear
  • haunted by memories of Eel Maarsh House
  • Woman In Black, is trapped by her past, because she was unmarried her child was taken away, she was heart broken,made worse when her child dies in an accident, to which she blames her sister and the wider community
  • Eel Marsh House, is a conatiner of the past memories, and influences WIB, Mrs Drablow and Arthur

Other characters are als disturbed by memories from thie past,

  • The Inn Keeper
  • Mrs Daily
  • Keckwick
  • Mr Jerome
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Fear

(Human response to threat, danger or harm)

  • Chapter 1, Arthur reminded of ghost tories, physcological manifestations of fear
  • Mr Jerome on Arthurs discussion of seeing an old woman, clutches Arthurs wrist as if about to collapse- long-term effect, likewise with Keckwick
  • when Arthur sees the WIB again, his knees tremble and his flesh creeps with fear
  • Arthur is transformed by his fear, from a rational young man, to a feverish, paralysed state of terror, the power of the woman in black has in death, to control people through fear
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