The Woman in Black
Arthur Kipps the main character in “The Woman in Black” is viewed as young, optimistic and mature man but views himself as “a sturdy, commonsensical fellow” who “did not believe in ghosts.” The reader begins to understand this when Arthur has an unsettled reaction to the ghost story telling at the beginning of the novel which creates a sense of mystery, Kipps states “i was trying to suppress my mounting unease, to hold back the rising flood of memory.” This builds the beginning of suspense for the reader as they are intrigued to find out Arthurs past memory. However the word unease creates the first sign of sympathy for Arthur this affects how the rest of the novel is understood as parts of the story is unknown creating a tension between the character and reader. Secondly, Hill then creates sympathy for the character of Arthur by making him appear unaware. Hill does this by making Arthur not believe in “The Woman in Black” or what danger she is to him. Arthur says “yes, yes, with the skin stretched over her bones, I could scarcely bear to look at her… she was tall, she wore a bonnet type of hat… I suppose to try and conceal as much as she could of her face, poor thing”. The use of “poor thing” makes us have sympathy for the woman however she is the antagonist of the novel. Hill uses this to make Arthur look like a nice character so the reader now feels sympathy for Arthur because he is unaware of what he has got himself into. Hill uses social context to make the reader have sympathy on Arthur. She does this by making the characters around Arthur not tell him what danger he is in. This creates the reader to become angry at the other characters for not helping Arthur. Hill wrote “instead of replying to my question at all, he turned right away from me and engaged his neighbour on the other side in a complicated discussion of crops and, infuriated by the now-familiar mystery and nonsense, I rose abruptly and left the room”. Hill made the...
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