Essay about The Woman in Black

752 Words 4 Pages
The woman in black: how does Arthur’s character change during the course of the story?

At the beginning of the story Arthur is a proud and striving townsman, who enjoys life. This satisfying state deteriorates by the dreadful experiences he encounters during his stay at Eel marsh house. This affects him for the rest of his life.

Arthur was an ambitious man, who was interested in building his future; we learn this in the first chapter:

This house was one day to be my own home. (p13)

To finance these ambitions he hopes to take more responsibility in the business so that he can ask for a pay rise from Mr Bentley his employer. (p41)

On the train journey to Crythin Gifford Arthur expresses his pride in his job by saying:
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Whatever little Arthur hears about it he classifies it as tales that had grown out of proportion.

When Arthur sees the woman in black for the second time near Eel marsh at the burial ground, he has a slight suspicion that she is not a human being:

Who she was - or what – and how she had vanished, such questions I did not ask myself…I did not believe in ghosts.

but what other explanations was there?(p66 and 68)
This creates a little bit of curiosity in Arthur’s mind and soon or later he finds out what she really is.

It was Arthur’s experiences at Eel Marsh house which damaged his mental and physical life.

For how long I sat there, in extremes of despair and fear fullness, I do not know. (p76)

When a person like Arthur who adopts such high grades of fearlessness and resiliency expresses his fear in such a manner he must have been terribly scared. Surely such levels of fear must affect a person.

A key point in the story is when Arthur visits Eel Marsh house he explains his experiences as follows:

I had been as badly frightened as a man could be (p85).

Arthur was such a brave and resilient man, the same man who dismissed all the stories that he had heard as tales that had grown out of proportion, must have experienced intense levels of fear to be so terrified. These experiences change Arthur himself into a completely different man who now lacks in physical activity and
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