16 Sep 2013

Woman in Black Chapter 2, 3 and 4 Analysis and Questions

At the end of Chapter 1, Kipps is looking forward to Christmas day. The semantic field of joy: 'delight', 'eagerly' and 'gladness' contrast strangely with the foreboding mood as the narrator gets ready to tell his story. Words like 'anxious', 'abrupt' and 'lonely terrors' set up
the fearful tale that is to come in Chapter Two.

If you find studying novels tricky, you might prefer these, more focussed questions. The answers will be posted soon.

Chapter 2: A London Particular*
* this refers to an especially thick fog, typical of Nineteenth Century London, and referred to by Dickens among others. It is likely Hill would be familiar with passages such as this one from Dickens' novel, Bleak House (1853):
'fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city ... people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds.'

1. How does Hill use the fog to create mood, and why do you think she chooses the month of November for the start of Kipps' flashback (think of Frankenstein 'It was a dreary night in November when I first beheld...'? pp. 22-23
See the post on Pathetic Fallacy to help you.

2. In the final paragraph on page 24, and the first paragraph on page 25, how does Hill use the semantic field of hell to create an ominous mood? 'Pools of sulphurous yellow light... red-eyed and demonic.' Quote and explain your ideas.

Chapter 3: The Journey North
1. Explain how the following quotations from p.34 create a tense atmosphere using PEE paragraphs:
a. personification to describe wind: 'unpleasant rain upon its breath'
b. sensory language to describe the train: 'ancient, comfortless', 'unyielding', 'cold, stale'
2. Hill introduces 'the stranger', 'Samuel Daly' on the train to build tension and foreboding. Hill deliberately has Kipps ask "you're not going to start telling me strange tales of lonely houses?" and Daly says "no". Find quotes on pages 38-39 that show that Hill IS using this scene with Daly to build a gothic mood, despite what he says.

Chapter 4: The Funeral of Mrs Drablow
1. Read the last paragraph on p. 44 which continues on the top of p. 45. What is Kipps' attitude to the locals' ideas?

2. 'innocence, once lost, is lost forever'. How does this quotation build a foreboding mood. What does Kipps mean by innocence?
The author, , is an Oxford graduate, outstanding-rated English Language and Literature teacher and of ages 10-18 in the British education system. In 2012, she was nominated for Pearson's Teaching Awards. As a private tutor, she raises grades often from C to A. Her writing is also featured in The Huffington Post. She offers private tuition in the Haywards Heath area, West Sussex.