The Woman in Black
Susan Hill creates a sense of isolation since the beginning of the novel, when Arthur is at Monk’s Piece. The name of Arthur’s new house (Monk’s Piece), suggest that it is a calm place, but it also could suggest that it is isolated, because in the Middle Ages monks used to meditate alone in isolated places. Isolation is also presented in the other house in the book, which is Eel Marsh House.
The only way to access to Eel Marsh House was by crossing a place called ‘Nine Lives Causeway’, which is the only path next to the house.
Arthur describes Eel Marsh House as ‘submerged’ and ‘untraceable’, this implies that it is almost impossible to escape from Eel Marsh House. It is submerged because the causeway is under the water and it is untraceable because the marshes last forever. The name of the causeway also creates a sense of isolation, it is called Nine Lives Causeway, and this suggests that you must have nine lives to cross it (or to be very lucky and brave). Isolation is also there when Keckwick leaves Arthur alone in Eel Marsh House.
He says that he feels “alone, outside that gaunt, empty house”. This tells us that Arthur is alone in the house, without protection and he ‘predicts’ that he will see the Woman in Black soon. Another time where we feel isolation is when Arthur is alone at the house and he is so scared that he starts to pray. I think that he prays because he is looking for protection and somebody to talk in God. Mrs Drablow also creates a sense of isolation, especially when Arthur asks for information to Mr Bentley.
He says that she lived for a long time in the house with nobody. She didn’t have any friends and she is also described as a “rum’un”, which means that a person is misbehaving (maybe, this is why Mrs Drablow didn’t have friends. In my opinion, isolation is mostly presented when Arthur is alone at Eel Marsh house, and it is also important, because it makes the story ‘more gothic’ and some characters, like Spider (the dog) or Keckwick wouldn’t appear in the story and they make the story more interesting.