From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement