Whistle and I'll Come to You, Susan Hill



'felt like a ship to sea'- simile creates the effect of imbalance and instability. Also emphasises isolation and vulnerability that Arthur feels there.

'steady as a lighthouse'- simile continues the simile of ship at sea. Represents safety in a storm, suggesting dangers surruonding Eel Marsh House.

'wind rage around like a lion'- simile recalls the way the child saw imagined the wind.

'howling darkness'- pathetic fallacy makes storm sound like an angry animal, linking to simile of lion.

'banishing all tranquility'- dramatic, sensational language. Whole paragraph is a single complex sentence.

'Nothing'- minor sentence adds to tension. Short sentence refelcts pause for concentration in listening.

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'a cry...a cry for help'- Repetition here emphasises the shock that Arthur feels

'No. But what was 'real'?'- Use of minor sentence to indicate firmness of decision. However, rhetorical question follows, contradicting and showing his confusion and complete perplexity.

'The torch had broken' - Short sentence indicates desperation, harsh, stark reality. Physical darkness he is surrouned by is symbolic of the fact that he has no idea what is happening. He is in the dark literally and metaphorically,. Tension is high.

'despair and fear, frustration and tension'-  list of abstract nouns convey intensity of emotion.

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'moaning down all the chimneys...whistling'- noises described are ghostly sounds- scary atmosphere. There is both physical threat from the storm and implied supernatural threat. Pathetic fallacy describes storm and wind. Gothic mood. Suggests world is in turmoil or distress. Pathetic fallacy is a form of personification.

'catapulting'- suggests a harsh push back into reality, sudden and violent. (weapon-like)

'like a banshee'- ghost foretells impending death. Simile warns us of something bad ahead.

'banging and rattling'- active verbs here imply the force of the storm.

'lights went out'- events such as these are common features of gothic ghost stories.

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'pitch blackness'- the loss of the torch increases the tension as he must investigate in dark, emphasises his confusion and how is lost about everything.

'doubt my own reality'- Tension created as we are led to imagein possibilites- mystery. Doubting his own mind, we are left with more uncertainty about what is going on.

'drummed my fists...until they throbbed'- More dramatic, strong emotion.

'I heard that child's terrible cry borne on the gusts towards me,'- Coping better with frightening events, yet still messed, mixed feelings. Storm and cry indicates that nothing has been resovled. Unsure of what happens next.

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  • Extract begins with setting of a violent storm, contrasted with memories of being a safe child.
  • By the end, tension is relaxed by presence of the dog, but situation is unresolved and mystery continues.
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