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The Woman in Black

In: English and Literature

Submitted By aytan0696
Words 2121
Pages 9
Faculty: Pedagogy
Name, surname: Aytan Mammadova
Group: 203 A
Teacher : Ulviyya Ahmedova 2015 “The woman in black”
By Susan Hill
“The Woman in Black” was first published in 1983 and has gone on to have a remarkable life over the following decades, in various paperback incarnations. It consists of twelve chapters.
When the book opens, Arthur Kipps is sharing some fascinating thoughts about how he's always been affected by the weather. He describes how he came to live at Monk's Piece and stumbled across it while out on a ride with his employer, Mr. Bentley. Arthur is a solicitor and has worked with Mr. Bentley for many years. Now he's married to a woman named Esmé and lives in Monk's Piece with her four children from a previous marriage; they have been happily settled for fourteen years. It's Christmas Eve and Arthur is at home with Esmé and her children when the boys begin telling ghost stories. Arthur tries to be cool with it, but he's uneasy. When Edmund asks him to join in, he pretty much leaves in a huff and goes to walk outside. Eventually he rejoins the party, but not before deciding to write down the story of what happened to him when he went to Crythin Gifford so many years ago. And now the real story begins.
It's November. Twenty-three year old solicitor Arthur Kipps is going on a business trip for his boss, Mr. Bentley. He's headed to the home of recently deceased Alice Drablow to sort out her affairs and attend her funeral. Alice lived on a distant estate called Eel Marsh House outside the town of the unpleasantly named Crythin Gifford. Mr. Bentley tells him that it'll take at least a day or two to sort everything out, and then sends him off to take the train. Arthur gets on the afternoon train and looks through Mrs. Drablow's file.As he's sitting there, a man comes in to share his compartment and introduces himself as Sam Daily. He shows some interest in the Drablow file, but Arthur pretty much ignores him. That's because Arthur thinks he's an ignorant hick, but of course he's far too British and polite to say that to his face. Sam says all sorts of dreary things about the countryside out there, and then offers to give him a ride.
When Arthur reaches Crythin Gifford, Sam drops him off at the hotel and tells him to call him if he ever needs anything. At the hotel, Arthur gets settled in and tries to talk to the innkeeper about Mrs. Drablow, but he's not having any of it. Arthur figures that the townsfolk are backwards hicks who think that old Mrs. Drablow was a witch. He goes to sleep and wakes up the next morning blissfully unaware of what's going to happen next. Dun, dun, dun…When he gets back to the hotel from a morning stroll, Mr. Jerome, Mrs. Drablow's agent, has left a note saying that he'll be by shortly to pick up Arthur for the funeral. Field trip! Almost no one is at the service, but Arthur sees a young woman who is dressed all in black and seems to be dying from some terrible disease and there's also a row of unsmiling children lined up outside the gate at the funeral. That's not weird at all, right? Kids do that kind of thing all the time. But when he brings up the creepy lady with Mr. Jerome, Mr. Jerome is not pleased. Actually, he insists that he didn't see a woman at all and kind of freaks out when Arthur keeps claiming that he did. This goes on for a while, with Arthur, who apparently can't take a hint, talking about the woman and Mr. Jerome denying having seen her. When they get back into town, Mr. Jerome says that he won't take Arthur to Eel Marsh House. At lunch, Arthur hobnobs with some locals. When he talks about Eel Marsh House, one guy says that no one will ever buy that house—but won't tell him why. So it's off to Eel Marsh House to find out some answers for himself.
A man named Keckwick is going to drive Arthur to Eel Marsh House. Fun fact about Eel Marsh House: it's its own little island and becomes separated from town when the tide goes up. Because the road is only available until five, Arthur tells Keckwick that he'll come back tomorrow with clothes and food so he can stay overnight in order to get all his work done. Keckwick, who is certainly not a man of many words, just turns around and leaves. Nice guy. Arthur takes some time to explore the area and checks out a little burial ground, which would make most people turn and run towards the town, screaming for Keckwick to wait up. According to the law of horror, though, Arthur has to behave in a way that's completely the opposite of the way any normal, rational person would act. So there's Arthur, checking out the burial ground, when he sees that creepy woman again. He runs over, but he can't find her. It's as though she's vanished into thin air. When he enters the house, he's not super reassured because… well, it's a big scary house. He even starts to think that the woman might have been otherworldly, even though he doesn't really believe in ghosts. Since he doesn't want to get to the work yet and Keckwick is coming in an hour anyway, he starts walking out on the causeway toward Crythin Gifford. As Arthur walks back along the causeway, the water starts to seep in. And… here comes the fog. Even better. He can't see the town, and he can't see Eel Marsh House either. But he walks on, sticking to his path and sure that it'll get him to the village in no time. Soon, he hears the clop-clop of a pony and trap. At first he thinks it's Keckwick coming to get him, but then he hears some more disturbing noises. Like the sound of sucking and a terrified sobbing, almost as though a pony and trap has been dragged into the mud and a child is dying. Arthur freaks, but there's nothing he can do—he's in the middle of nowhere. As the water starts to come up, Arthur makes his way back toward the house and to safety. Once inside, he just sits there and cries helplessly. Then he drinks some brandy, which solves all of his problems. He wanders through the house and tries to get into one locked door, but can't. Then he lies down on a sofa. Arthur hears a bell and realizes that he's fallen asleep, but that someone's arrived. But who is that?- It's Keckwick here to get him, even though it's 2 a.m. Arthur asks him how he got out, since he thought Keckwick was the one trapped in the marsh. Keckwick doesn't say anything. They ride back in silence and Arthur goes to sleep at the hotel, a bit shaken from his whole experience.
The next day, Arthur wakes up and decides that he is so done with this whole Drablow affair. He's going to pass the whole thing off to Mr. Jerome. The landlord lends him a bicycle, and he pedals off to see Mr. Jerome, feeling pretty good about things. Mr. Jerome is very squirrely about the whole thing and says no way, no how, and don't let the door hit you on the way out. But he does say some vague things about stories and ghoulish things, without a lot of detail. Time for plan B: Arthur writes a letter to Mr. Bentley explaining that Eel Marsh House is quite an undertaking and he'll have to be here for several days to sort it all out. Then he goes on a nice long bike ride to clear his mind. After a refreshing 30-mile ride, Arthur has dinner with Sam Daily.He also decides to spend the next two nights at Eel Marsh House to get through all that paperwork. Mr. Daily doesn't think this is such a hot idea. But Arthur insists, so Mr. Daily lends out his dog, Spider. Arthur gets a phone call from Mr. Bentley, who okays the plan to stay longer at Eel Marsh House. With Spider by his side, he sets off to Eel Marsh House, where he busies himself with looking through all the papers. Then he goes out and looks at the graves, because he's some sort of masochistic dummy, apparently.After a long, hard day of work, he nods off to a restful night's sleep. Instead, he wakes in the middle of the night to see Spider standing at the bedroom door and growling. He follows Spider down the hallway to the locked room, and then hears a sound behind him. But when he rushes back to his room, it's empty and Spider has calmed down. The next morning, he goes back to town and grabs a bunch of food before bicycling back. He also has a letter from Stella. As he's sorting, he finds a packet of letters to Alice Drablow from someone named Jennet. Hm. It seems she's a relative of Mrs.Drablow who had a child out of wedlock and gave him up to the Drablows to raise. Arthur starts to get a real bad feeling about this whole thing. Arthur again hears the horrifying sound of a pony and trap getting stuck and a child drowning. But this time, he realizes that the sound isn't real. It's a ghost sound. Then he goes inside and realizes that the sound he was hearing was the rocking chair. Because the chair is rocking by itself, but there's no one else in the room. Then he returns to his room and goes to sleep.
It's windy and dark when Arthur wakes up. He tries to find his way to the light, but it's been broken. Spider rouses him and they walk through the house. Arthur is filled with an inexplicable sense of despair. It feels as though someone has died. That's probably because someone has died. They go outside, and Spider is agitated. So agitated that she somehow gets stuck in the marsh and Arthur has to work hard to get her out of there. As he's walking back to the house with poor Spider, he looks up and sees the woman in black watching him from the window of the nursery. When he wakes up in the morning Sam Daily is at the house. Arthur explains all the scary things that happened to him, and they pack up his stuff to head back to Crythin Gifford. In his room at the inn, Arthur looks through the letters, where he finds a death certificate for Nathaniel, Jennet's son, who apparently died in the marsh. Somehow, this is enough for him to put it together. He checks with Sam Daily, who confirms. Here's the story:
“Jennet Humfrye got pregnant when she was unmarried, and her married sister Mrs. Drablow convinced her to give the child up. The Drablows raised the child as their own, and Jennet convinced them to let her live with them so she could see Nathaniel. One day, when the boy was in the pony and trap with his nursemaid and Keckwick's father, it became stuck in the marsh and they all drowned. (This is obviously the pony and trap that Arthur keeps hearing again and again.) Jennet was watching this whole time from the nursery window. Seeing her child die before her eyes drove her insane. When she finally died, she kept right on haunting the town.”
Daily warns Arthur that every time the Jennet's ghost has been spotted, a child has died in mysterious circumstances. Arthur is taking all of this in—and freaking out a little—when Stella arrives out of nowhere. reunion! Is it time for our happy ending now? Arthur lets us know that we're almost at the end of the story. He leaves Crythin Gifford, marries Stella, and they have a baby named Joseph. One day, they go to a fair outside of London and Joseph insists on riding the pony and trap. There's only room for two, so Arthur waits behind while Stella and Joseph go. While Arthur's waiting, he sees the woman in black watching him. As the pony and trap comes back, she steps in front of it and causes a huge accident. Joseph dies on the scene and Stella dies from her injuries ten months later.
And that is the true and horrifying end of “The Woman in Black”.

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