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The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black


by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black Theme of Appearances

This isn't one of those horror stories where things aren't always what they seem, and Jennet is no disembodied ghost going bump in the night. She's fully embodied, with eyes, clothes, and skin—even if that skin does look like bone. In The Woman in Black, appearances matter. From Sam Daily's beefy hands to the gaunt, empty house, what's outside gives us a pretty good clue to what's inside. And it's not always good.

Questions About Appearances

  1. What does the woman in black's appearance tell us about her character? Would she have looked different during her life?
  2. Is Sam Daily what Arthur expected when he met him? Does his appearance match up with his character?
  3. How does Eel Marsh House's appearance relate to other haunted house clichés? Is it pretty much what we expect from a haunted house? If so, why?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In true gothic fashion, the woman in black's ghastly appearance is an accurate reflection of her inside.

Sam Daily is one character that does not match with his appearance; he turns out to be far more insightful and thoughtful than Arthur initially thought.

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