Tension In Susan Hill's The Woman In Black

1188 Words5 Pages
How does Susan Hill create an effective climax to the novel in the final chapter of The Woman in Black? An effective climax to the novel is created through high levels of tension and empathy from the readers. Naturally, as the final chapter in a gothic novel, there is heightened tension. Yet, surprisingly, unlike other chapters, it is set in a nice place - the park, as opposed to the gloom of Eel Marsh House. Instead of setting, Susan Hill uses her choice of specific verbs, adjectives, and sentence structure to make the reader feel like Arthur Kipps and so empathise with him more than ever. Tension is strengthened by the chapter being also the title of the book; the whole novel has been building up to this point. “’You told me that night’ I took a deep breath to try and calm myself. ‘A child-a child in Crythin Gifford has always died.’” While not the most subtle of foreshadowing, this prophecy heightens the tension by adding another threat. Susan Hill uses contrasting comparisons to create tension. For example, she takes ordinary situations and twists them, such as the “docile, grey donkey” which has the…show more content…
For example, as he sees the woman in black’s ghost and all the beautiful things of the world such as “the shouts and happy cries of the children” fade away, he is left “paralysed” in “incredulity and astonishment”. By isolating the main character, Arthur Kipps, in a normal environment like that of the park, it seems unnatural to the reader and heightens tension. Vocabulary too plays a large part, the use of words such as, “anguish”, “considerable distress”, and, “weeping” help create tension. This tension is also formed by his isolation from Esmé, “I have been quite unable to tell her anything at all”. There is also a distinct singularity, referring to it as “my story” and repetition of “I”, he seems very alone and the author uses singular pronouns which help accentuate his
Open Document