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Ghost stories are all about death and dying. They help us to understand what happens after we die. They try to build up people’s fear of death and dying. They use people’s fear to build up suspense. Sometimes the author of the book will use the characters in the book to keep the reader wondering, grieving people sometime imagine things and the author can use this to keep the reader interested in the book. The reader would be wondering if it is the imagination of the character or a real ghost.
Often ghost stories are based on someone’s premature or violent death. Some stories can use this to add more fear, because it could be an ordinary person that gets killed. Sometimes the author writes as if it had happened to them, this could help the reader to believe the story more.
The ‘Violet Car’ is about the violent death of a young girl. The man that had killed Mr. Eldridge’s daughter was driving though the village in his violet car. He pulled up to Mr. Eldridge, and asked him for directions to Hexham. It was a foggy day, and Mr. Eldridge didn’t like the driver so he told him that it was straight on, and the driver drove straight of the edge of a cliff.
Mr. Eldridge was haunted with the pictures of the car driving off the cliff and everyday he saw it. The only way that he could stop the visions was to stop the car from driving off the edge of the cliff. Mr. Eldridge stood on the corner of the road to stop the car as it came round the corner, it hit Mr. Eldridge and knocked him to the ground. The cause of death was heart failure, but he was really killed by the same car that had killed his daughter.
‘The Woman in Black’ is about a ghost that haunts Eel Marsh House, an isolated house with a very dark secret. There is a ghost of a young woman that lost her son on the marshes near Eel Marsh House, which haunts the house. Mr. Drablow, the previous owner, died and Arthur Kipps is sent to sort out every thing in the house and make sure all the legal documents are correct. The ghost is of a woman called Jennet Humfrye, who had a son but was not allowed to keep him so she gave him up to Alice Drablow.
Jennet came to see here son all the time and one day the child had been out in the town and come back on a horse and cart, but it had gone off the tracks and into the marsh. Arthur hears noises on the marsh of people dying, drowning in the mud of the marshes. Every time the ghost is seen a baby dies, but when no child died they thought that the curse of the old house had ended, but Arthur’s child and wife die in an accident and the woman in black was left to haunt Crythin Gifford.
The books are similar in many aspects, they are both written in the first person. Writing in first person is a common practice by Authors to make the reader believe the story more. ‘The Woman in Black’ is written as if you are Arthur and the ‘Violet Car’ is written from the point of view of the nurse.
They are similar because they both try and achieve the same thing, just using different techniques. Susan Hill keeps the readers attention by using short sharp sentences, whereas Edith Nesbit uses lots of descriptions to keep the attention of the reader.
‘The Woman in Black’ uses lots of very good descriptive words; they are very good for working up the suspense even more. ‘The Woman in Black’ and ‘Violet Car’ are both based on grief, ‘The Woman in Black’ is the grief of Jennet, the ‘Violet Car’ is about Mr. Eldridge and the grief he had because he sent the car off the edge of the cliff.
In ‘The Woman in Black’ Susan Hill make an eerie atmosphere by using short onomatopoeic sentences such as, “Bump. Bump. Pause. Bump. Bump. Pause. Bump. Bump. Bump. Bump. Bump. Bump” This kind of sentence helps to build up anticipation and anxiety. It is like you want to find out what is going to happen next but are too scared to find out. She does not use cliffhangers at the end of a chapter; however she does use them at the end of some paragraphs.
The ‘Violet Car’ is a very different book in that respect, Edith Nesbit writes in a different way to Susan Hill. E. Nesbit didn’t write in short sentences; instead she told the story in a way that made you want to continue reading.
Both the stories are traditional well told ghost stories that use different techniques to get the same result. They are both interesting and exciting and the kind of story that you don’t want to put down because it is so full of suspense. I think that ‘The Woman in Black’ is a better ghost story because a lot more happens in it and it has a more complex plot to the ‘Violet Car’, however ‘The Woman in Black’ is a book whereas the ‘Violet Car’ is a short story. ‘The Woman in Black’ was described has ‘Heartstoppingly chilling’ and I agree with this.