The Woman in Black - Themes test questions

Read the extract from The Woman in Black and answer questions 1-3 below.

As I neared the ruins, I could see clearly that they were indeed of some ancient chapel, perhaps monastic in origin, and all broken-down and crumbling, with some of the stones and rubble fallen, probably in recent gales, and lying about in the grass. The ground sloped a little down to the estuary shore and, as I passed under one of the old arches, I startled a bird, which rose up and away over my head with loudly beating wings and a harsh croaking cry that echoed all around the walls and was taken up by another, some distance away. It was an ugly, satanic-looking thing, like some species of sea-vulture - if such a thing existed - and I could not suppress a shudder as its shadow passed over me, and I watched its ungainly flight away towards the sea with relief.

1

How does this setting contribute to the theme of isolation in the story?

2

How does Arthur feel about the bird?

3

How does Hill use the setting to increase tension and unease for the reader in this passage?

Read this extract from The Woman in Black and answer questions 4-6 below.

My emotions had now become so volatile and so extreme, my nervous responses so near the surface, so rapid and keen, that I was living in another dimension, my heart seemed to beat faster, my step to be quicker, everything I saw was brighter, its outlines more sharply, precisely defined. And all this since yesterday. I had wondered whether I looked different in some essential way so that, when I eventually returned home, my friends and family would notice the change. I felt older and like a man who was being put to trial, half fearful, half wondering, excited, completely in thrall.

4

How has Arthur Kipps changed?

5

How does Hill show Arthur's heightened sensitivity?

6

How does she use sentence structure to emphasise his fear in this extract?

Read this extract from The Woman in Black and answer questions 7-10 below.

Tomorrow was Christmas Day. Could I not be free of it at least for that blessed time, was there no way of keeping the memory, and the effects it had upon me, at bay, as an analgesic or a balm will stave off the pain of a wound, at least temporarily? And then, standing among the trunks of the fruit trees, silver-grey in the moonlight, I recalled that the way to banish an old ghost that continues its hauntings is to exorcise it. Well then, mine should be exorcised. I should tell my tale, not aloud, by the fireside, not as a diversion for idle listeners - it was too solemn and too real, for that. But I should set it down on paper, with every care and in every detail. I would write my own ghost story. Then perhaps I should finally be free of it for whatever life remained for me to enjoy.

7

How is the theme of the past conjured up in this extract?

8

Which part of the story is this extract from?

9

What does Arthur hope will happen if he tells his story?

10

How do we know that Arthur is trapped by his memory?