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The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black
by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black Analysis

Literary Devices in The Woman in Black

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

The whole story of The Woman in Black is set in some indeterminate historical setting. Though it seems like historical fiction because of the pony and trap and the steam train, we never get a clear...

Narrator Point of View

The Woman in Black is Arthur Kipps's story. He makes this clear at the end of the first chapter of the book, when he commits to telling the story: I decided at once that it should be, at least duri...

Genre

If there's one way to characterize this book, it's to say that it's a good old-fashioned ghost story, complete with the death of a reclusive old lady, a big creepy mansion, and a ghost that keeps a...

Tone

This is one uptight narrator. Arthur can't even say that bad weather makes him depressed without mincing around, we suspect with his nose in the air: My spirits have for many years now been excessi...

Writing Style

Take a look at one of Arthur's opening statements:My spirits have for many years now been excessively affected by the ways of the weather, and I confess that, had it not been for the air of cheerfu...

What's Up With the Title?

The Woman in Black is a story about Arthur Kipps' encounter with, well, a woman in black, so in that sense it's pretty straightforward.But think about how weirdly bland the title is. Not "The Haunt...

What's Up With the Ending?

Talk about a messed-up ending. Arthur never did anything to the woman in black, he didn't even know her when she was alive, but she kills his entire family anyway and on purpose. And check out that...

Tough-o-Meter

Yeah, old Arthur Kipps can get a little frilly with his language at times. Like this:Moreover, that the intensity of her grief and distress together with her pent-up hatred and desire for revenge p...

Plot Analysis

A Christmas Tale The set-up is pretty cheery for such a dark tale. It opens with Arthur Kipps at home with his family and enjoying a pleasant Christmas Eve. However, when the talk of the evening tu...

Trivia

In the recent movie version, Arthur sees three monkeys. These monkeys represent the wise monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. Maybe Arthur should have taken the hint, hm? (sour...

Steaminess Rating

Even though Arthur Kipps has two wives in The Woman in Black (not concurrently, this isn't a book about polygamy), there's a straight-laced, 19th century, British quality to all the characters in t...

Allusions

Even though The Woman in Black is obviously set in a different era, Susan Hill doesn't give away any real clues about what year it's set in. So we'll see steam trains but no mention of date, histor...

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