Isolation In Susan Hill's The Woman In Black

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As characters are exposed to different situations, their feelings and opinions change and develop. 'The Woman in Black', written by Susan Hill, is a gothic novel set in Victorian England. Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is sent to an isolated town in the country to recover papers that belonged to newly deceased Alice Drablow. What he thought would be a relaxing time away from the noisy London turns into a nightmare as he is haunted by the Woman in Black. Being alone becomes a fear instead of a luxury. Through the use of literary techniques, Susan Hill creates a sense of isolation that affects the characters in different ways as the novel progresses. At the beginning of the novel, Hill uses literary techniques to romanticize the isolation …show more content…

As Arthur experiences various paranormal situations he starts to regret his decision of staying at Eel Marsh house for the night, and even going there at all. Arthur starts to wonder how Mrs. Drablow had endured “day after day, night after night of isolation” (p.82) when he had had “enough of solitude” (p.82) after just one night. The repetition of the word “day” and “night” helps the reader understand how long this period of time might have been for Alice Drablow and helps them empathize with her despite not knowing her. Unlike when he first saw it, the isolation of the house makes him feel “insignificant” (p.85). The vocabulary combined with the long sentences Hill used to describe the marsh makes the reader feel small and powerless against such a vast landscape. When faced by the Woman in Black, Arthur is mad at himself for not seeing the signs that something was wrong. He is mad at Mr Bentley for sending him to Eel Marsh house in the first place, but most importantly he desires to be “among friends” (p.91) and with Stella, his fiancée. He would be “among any people at all” (p.91) if it meant getting rid of the feeling of isolation that came with Eel Marsh house. This reinforces the sense of desperation Arthur is feeling when faced with something he can’t see but feel, such as

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