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â€˜Creation of suspense is a characteristic feature of narrative in the gothic tradition. Discuss the uses and effectiveness of this device in The Woman in Black and compare them with those that you have noted in one other gothic text. Susan Hillâ€™s â€˜The Woman in Blackâ€™ is the ultimate ghost story which relies on the use of suspense, intensity, atmosphere and drama, interwoven in a plot full of intrigue which keeps the reader eager with anticipation. Susan Hill has created a chilling novel which translates into a magnificently eerie and genuinely distressing read. Although everpresent, suspense is cleverly built slowly throughout to create a mounting atmosphere. Furthermore, atmosphere is built through place, strong narrative and dialogue. Hillâ€™s calculated timing of events is also crucial in creating the mood of anxiety. The first hint of atmosphere building up was when Mr Kidd meets Mr Bentley for the job of sorting out Mrs Drablowâ€™s papers. From the start of the dialogue between Arthur Kidd and Mr Bentley it is obvious that the latter is intent on seeing how much Mr Kidd knows about Eel Marsh House. There are many short questions, avoiding the readerâ€™s attention. Then Mr. Kidd asks â€œChildren?â€, this demonstrates how Susan Hill spans the question out to draw the readerâ€™s attention, and it is clear Mr Bentley most probably knows the answer but is reluctant to tell it. This hints that there might be something wrong or odd here. This withheld information is almost characteristic of the whole foundations of Dracula as character fail to share vital information with eachother which lead to fatal consequences. This technique is very powerful in stirring up emotions as the reader begins to almost urge the characters to share the information which they withold. In the passage from â€˜Across The Causewayâ€™, Kipps sees the Woman in Black for the second time however this time, she has a look of pure malevolence and evil on her face. Kipps begins to question whether the hatred is directed at himslef however he is soon afraid and eventually angry. Susan Hill builds up tension and suspense in this extract by controlling the pace, this gives the extract the required tension since events seem to go by slowly and gradually build to their climax. This can be linked back to Dracula as events surrounding Lucy and her dramatic death are steadily explained and her death comes a long time after her first encounter with Dracula. General events in Dracula can also be linked back to Susan Hillâ€™s slow paced build up as Mina tries to put together the pieces of the puzzle throughout while characters often are shown to be naÃ¯Â¿Â½ve in there thinking and do not come to obvious conclusions so as to be able to sustain the tension of the novel. Even after Kipps has emotionally broken and he is being comforted by Spider, Kipps can still hear the wailing child across the marshes, This gives the reader an image of unrelenting pain and haunting which only succeeds in adding to the suspense and tension. This can also be clearly seen within Bram Stokerâ€™s Dracula as Draculaâ€™s attack on the individuals does not result in a sudden death or transformation but rather begins the cycle which is only completed later in the novel as Lucy is attacked multiple times until she is beyond the point of saving. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, is indeed a successful ghost story, but what makes it so, is not violence, gore, or even bloodshed; It is the underlying, psychological fear of the unknown, which almost every person possess. From right at the beginning when Arthur Kipps strangely shows his anger in a sudden occurrence which is not made clear as to the reasons why, the reader is asked to try and anticipate consequently creating suspense. Such a theme can be seen Bram Stokerâ€™s Dracula frequently particularly during the early stages of the novel as Harker visits the count. During these stages it is not made clear the full extent of the countâ€™s objectives and the reader is only given slight hints through the characters viewpoint so that they are just as helpless as Harker. In Conclusion, Susan Hill has used a number of various techniques to invoke a sense of suspense into her novel. With these techniques she has created an immense atmosphere which is the foundation towards her chilling novel.
Blue Jeans American Cultural Artifact Essay Blue jeans in the last thirty years have attained such world wide popularity that they have come to be considered an American icon. However jeans have not always been held in high stead, but rather have had a troubled history including its beginnings within the working class movement, being considered unsavory by religious leaders and also seen as a rebellious statement about â€˜western decadenceâ€™. According to the University of Toronto, no other garment has served as an example of status ambivalence and ambiguity than blue jeans in the history of fashion. Throughout this essay I will discuss how jeans have become such a common treasured and even expensive item crossing over class, gender, age, regional, and national lines as reflected by the many changing political views and acceptance from various social classes over the past 50 years. History of Blue Jeans According to the University of Toronto, blue jeans were originally created for the California coal miners in the mid-nineteenth century by the Morris Levi Strauss, a Bavarian immigrant who relocated to New York in 1847. Mr Straussâ€™ fate and the history of clothing changed forever when in 1872 he received an offer from Jacob Davis, a tailor from Reno Nevada. Mr. Davis, in order to improve the durability of the pants that he made for his clients, had been adding metal rivets to the highly stressed seams. The idea was successful and he wished to patent it, but due to financial constraints required a partner and hence Levi became the financial backer and partner. In 1873, the new partners received a patent for â€œan improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openingsâ€, and thus the history of blue jeans as we know them began. Blue jeans were originally called â€œwaist overallsâ€ by Levi Strauss and Co and in the 1920â€™s these were the most widely used workerâ€™s pants in America. The name of these trousers changed to â€œjeansâ€ in the 1960â€™s when Levi Strauss and Co. recognized that this was what the product was being called by the young, hip teenage boys. The history of waist overalls continues as the history of blue jeans. Jeans is now generally understood to refer to pants made out of a specific type of fabric called denim (Fashion Encyclopedia). Blue Jeans through the decades The popularity of blue jeans spread among working people, such as farmers and the ranchers of the American West. According to the Encyclopedia of Fashion, in the 1930â€™s jeans became so popular among cowboys that Wrangler formed just to make denim work clothing for those who rode the range. Jeans have tended to follow along in popularity with popular culture as evident with the popular Western films which found adventure and romance in the adventures of the cowboys who rode horses, shot bad guys, and wore blue jeans. Those who wished to imitate the casual, rugged look of the cowboys they saw in films began to wear jeans as casual wear (Fashion Encyclopedia). This effect is not hard to understand, as even today fashion trends are greatly influenced by what highly publicized celebrities choose to wear. During World War II blue jeans became part of the official uniform of the Navy and Coast Guard, and became even more popular when worn as off-duty leisure clothing by many other soldiers. In his book, â€œJeans: A Cultural History of an American Iconâ€, James Sullivan states that the rise of the popularity of jeans after the WWII can greatly be attributed to the influence of the film and music industry, during the 1950s many young people began to wear jeans when they saw them on rebellious young American film stars such as Marlon Brando and James Dean. By 1950, Leviâ€™s began selling nationally and other brands started emerging, such as Lee Coopers and each with its own particular fit (Sullivan 287). According to the University of Toronto, in the 1960â€™s and 1970â€™s jeans were embraced by the nonconformist hippie youth movement, and the history of blue jeans even gets linked to the downfall of communism. Behind the iron curtain, jeans became a symbol of â€œwestern decadenceâ€ and individuality and as such were highly sought. Jeans had become extremely popular, but were still mainly worn by working people or the young. In the 1980â€™s through to the 1990â€™s jeans were no longer seen as rebellious or a source of individuality, but they were transformed as the term â€˜designer jeansâ€™ was discovered. Many designers such as Jordache and Calvin Klein came on board to create expensive jeans and some jeans even reached haute couture status (Fashion Encyclopedia). In the new millennium denim is seen on designer catwalks and there are now hundreds of styles, types and labels available and of various price ranges. Changing Popularity According to Peter Beagle in his book â€œAmerican Denim: A New Folk Artâ€, the popularity of jeans can be attributed to the fact that jeans can be seen to embrace the American democratic values of independence, freedom and equality. Some Americans even consider jeans to be the national uniform. Blue jeans have evolved from a garment associated exclusively with hard work to one associated with leisure. What began as work clothes has transformed into one of the hottest items available on the consumer market today. What was once apparel associated with low culture has undergone a reversal in status. Blue jeans were the first to accomplish a rather revolutionary cultural achievement bringing upper class status to a lower class garment. Conclusion At one point or another throughout history, blue jeans have been the uniform of many groups and are considered the one garment of clothing that has remained hip for over a century and has survived everything from World War II to the eighties. For half a century blue jeans have helped define every youth movement, and every effort of older generations to deny the passing of youth. Fifty years ago America invented the concept of teenager, and it is probably no coincidence that the enduring character of blue jeans, claiming independence and the right to self-expression, can be traced to the same time. Jeans were once seen as clothing for minority groups such as workers, hippies or rebellious youth, but are now embraced by the dominant American culture as a whole.
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