Explore the ways in which Hill creates sympathy for Arthur as the hero of the Woman in Black

1348 Words Oct 16th, 2014 6 Pages
Explore the ways in which Hill creates sympathy for Arthur as the hero of the Woman in Black
Key to the success of TWiB is Hill’s expertise in encouraging the reader to identify with the main character, Arthur Kipps. She achieves this by stimulating feelings of sympathy towards Arthur. Some of the ways in which she does this are by using a variety of different methods such as a range of structural devices, detailed descriptions of the setting, the central theme of fear and the change in Arthur’s character.
Perhaps the most effective way in which Hill creates sympathy is by vividly describing feelings of anxiety, terror and emotional distress. The first hint of this comes within the first chapter when Arthur is being pressed by his
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In the final scene Arthur vividly describes how “the sickening crack and thud as the pony and its cart collided with one of the huge tree trunks.” These events, all described graphically, combine to create a feeling of sympathy for Arthur and all he has experienced. It is noticeable that the level of suffering he has had to endure increases throughout the story, ranging from mild haunting at Mrs Drablow’s funeral, when he glimpses the woman in black, through to severe haunting events in the nursery and in the marsh, to the tragic final scene. This rising level of suffering brings the reader’s sympathy towards Arthur to a peak in the final act, when his child is killed and his wife fatally injured. This is compounded by the reader’s knowledge of Arthur, who is portrayed as a decent and hardworking man who did not deserve to be tormented in this way.
The primary structural device is the use of the first person throughout the story. As Arthur is speaking to the reader directly it is evident that the author’s intention is to steer the reader towards seeing things from his perspective. It creates a more intimate relationship between Arthur and the reader and makes the reader trust Arthur’s reactions hence evoking empathy within the reader and sympathy towards Arthur. The ‘one to one’ account creates an affinity with Arthur, as if the story has been

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