Whistle and I’ll Come to You

The title of the chapter is adapted from another ghost story – Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad written by M.R. James in 1910. Hill alludes to key texts from the ghost story genre throughout – consider why?

This chapter is a fine example of first person narrative as Hill develops and relaxes the tension and suspense throughout the chapter. The first half of the chapter is the most terrifying. This is built entirely on the sounds of the storm, the darkness and the ghostly cries of a child. Kipps’ imagination goes into overdrive to such as extent that he begins to doubt his own sanity.

The chapter opens with Kipps lying awake listening to the violent storm. Here he again hears the cries of a child. Below are some quotes to help you:
  • ‘like a ship at sea’
  • ‘roaring across the open marsh’
  • ‘the Sound of moaning’
  • ‘howling darkness’
  • ‘banging and rattling of the window’
  • ‘battered by the gale’
  • ‘windows were rattling’
  • ‘whistling through every nook and cranny’
  • ‘tumult of the wind, like a banshee’
In the morning Kipps takes Spider for a walk and hears a ghostly whistle. The dog bounds off and runs into quicksand. After a desperate struggle, Kipps manages to save her. He sees another vision of the woman in black watching them from the nursery window. The tension mounts further when he hears the sound of a pony and trap at the end of the causeway.

In tomorrow’s lesson we will look at Chapter 10. Please ensure you have read this chapter.

Miss O
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