Chapter 7 – Mr Jerome is Afraid

In Chapter 7 of The Woman in Black:

  • The prospect of a cycle ride evokes a sense of excitement and happiness to the point where Arthur decides to remain at Crythin Gifford to complete his task – ‘I felt one again my normal, equable, cheerful self’. (page 87)
  • He goes to see Mr Jerome (Mrs Drablow’s land agent) to ask for help in sorting out her papers and possessions – ‘But there was no one. The place was silent’. (page 87)
  • He learns that no-one will dare to help him – ‘I am quite on my own. I cannot give you any help at all’. (page 88)
  • Mr Jerome is visibly scared when Arthur tells him of the second sighting of the woman in black (in Chapter 5 – Across the Causeway) – Mr Jerome appears a broken man – ‘I noticed that his hands, which rested on the sides of this chair, were working, tubing, fidgeting, gripping and ungripping in agitation’. (page 88)
  • Kipss now accepts that Eel Marsh House if haunted but in a fit of bravado is determined to complete his business – ‘I decided that, if i were to get to the truth of the business, I should have to rely upon the evidence of my own senses and nothing more’. (page 91)

7. Mr Jerome Is Afraid

Key points for consideration:

  • Hill’s use of the first person narration (I) allows the reader to identify Kipps’ changing emotions as well as granting the reader the opportunity to experience the events of the novel along with Kipps. The use of the first person narrative has a greater impact on the reader as it is immediate and realistic; given the genre (ghost story) this technique is hugely effective.
  • The ‘Conspiracy of silence’ is further developed here (key theme in the book). The landlord is friendly but uncommunicative on the topic of Eel Marsh House. Similarly Jerome gives very little factual information on Alice Drablow.
  • Hill’s use of dialogue including deliberate pauses, ellipses and unfinished statements are included for effect so then when Arthur finishes Jerome’s sentences, we as readers know this is significant (pages 88-89).
  • The quote ‘not another living soul’ on page 89 sounds rather cliched however this quotation is key to demonstrate the use of irony in the text. Kipps is sounding sympathetic to Jerome by finishing his sentence for him, yet in reality he is pumping him for information. A simple, yet effective narrative technique which helps the reader to read between the lines.

Hope you have all had a wonderful break. We will look at Chapter 8 (Spider) in the first lesson back and you will be answering an essay question during Tuesday’s lesson – I am expecting good things!  Please ensure you have read the book, if not, at least Chapter 8 – Spider for Monday 6 January.

Miss O

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