the woman in black by susan hill

  • Created by: Missy
  • Created on: 16-05-11 16:16

Key points for improving grades:

  • Be relevant- you don't need to write everything you know about the text, only the things that relate to the question.
  • be sufficiently detailed- it's better to give a lot of detail about a small part of the text than trying to cover lots of different points
  • be well structured- with a clear introduction which addresses the question and has a cleaar conclusion that returns to the question.
  • use effective vocabulary- including literary terms where relevant.
  • use well chosen evidence/quotations to back up what you're saying.

'The Woman in Black' is a selfaware novel, it's aware of gothic traditions and plays with them.

chapter 1: chapter 1 is expected to be happy because of the title "Christmas Eve" although it is also a tradition to tell ghost stories on Chistmas Eve which foreshadows the events of the chapter.

page 9: "l like to look about me at the sky...darkness ahead of me" gothic topography with the cold, it also forshadows the chilling events to come.

page 14: "and now...repaired for Christmas" feels happy and safe- a juxtaposition to the rest of the novel.

Chapter 4:

Pages 48 - 50: Description of the woman in black - 'dreadful disfigurement of burning' alliteration, burning has conertations of hell.

Page 49: 'not only was she extremely pale, even more than a contrast with the black garments...sunken back into her head' contrast, very gothic, gives the idea that she's alive but looks dead. Stucturally the use of Kipps as a naive narrator here is crucially important in presenting the Woman in Black as a sup-ernatural force. Hill writes: ' only the thinnest layer of flesh was tautly stretched and strained across her bones, so that it gleamed with a curious, blue-white sheen and her eyes seemed sunken back into her head' this description imediatley shows the reader that she is a supernatural force. By using sibilence in 'stretched and strained' makes the Woman in Black imediatly myserious to the reader.

Intertextuality: the setting of Christmas in chapter 1 can be related to "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. Chapter 2's title "a London Particular" references to "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens, in the chapter London is described with conotations of hell and there is mention of fog. "Whistle and I'll come to you" is a chapter named after the gothic novel by M.R James of the same title. in the chapter a very similar thing hapens to the plot of "Whistle and I'll Come to you" and Hill has directly referenced the short story. The topography and description of the woman in black is very similar to that of Mrs Havisham in "Great 'Expectations" by Charles Dickens eg. "sunken eyes", "shrunk to skin and bone", "old marsh churches", "grave-clothes" and "corpse-like". In "Great expectations" Mrs Havisham is alive however described to be dead and in "The Woman in Black" it is he other way round.

 Children in "the Woman in Black": The of the children in "the funeral of Mrs Drablow" is highly effective in creating tension and atmoshpere. Hill sreates a sense




This looks very helpful as I am doing my Woman in Black essay on Friday, thanks for the revision notes otherwise I would have failed the exam.



haha same :) good luck!



Thank you very much! This helped a lot!!!!

Bowale Fadare


Than you so much! Very good version ...



You could at least have the courtesy to read through your work before posting this resource. It is littered with spelling errors, typos, missing words in the middle of sentences; the punctuation is random and the grammar is mystifying. This resource is meant to help people doing an ENGLISH exam - ENGLISH!