The novel reveals jennet and the woman in black as

This preview shows page 47 - 49 out of 57 pages.

The novel reveals Jennet and the woman in black as different version of the same woman or the binary image of pure and ―fallen‖ woman. The woman in black at the end of the novel becomes the ruling figure, as a ghostly, furious virago. As illustrated by Kipps, her repeated a nd neurotic abduction of children is full of ―malevolence and hatred and passionate bitterness‖ and it replicates to a petrifying degree what was enforced on her in her earthly existence ( WIB 198). The ghost in The Woman in Black is never at ease and is constantly in a revengeful state of mind. Even in the concluding pages she is still at large, having ranged without restraint across two centuries, uncontrolled by geographical restrictions and obsessed to bring misery to families persistently. As both Jennet Humfrye and her ghost challenge the double moral standards of Victorian England and the quasi- Victorian family values that promulgated during the early 1980s, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar‘s analysis of binary presentations of the angelic and monstrous female and their interpretation of the primal Oedipal family is significant here. Karen Horney, a German psychoanalyst is of the view that how, instead of responding to each woman as a unique, complex, and for that reason potentially formidable being, men have divided the concept of Woman into pairs of stereotyped antitheses: saint/sinner, virgin/whore, nurturing mother/devouring stepmother, and
103 angel/witch. In patriarchal culture only the helpless; passive rather than active, selfless rather than self- assertive, submissive rather than bold are the women who have been acceptable. Jennet, despite being descended from social grace, is also righteous and considerate, or ―angelic‖. The woman in black, being Jennet‘s ghostly counterpart is monstrou s, but, simultaneously, cannot be kept outside ―civilised‖ boundaries. As a ―fallen‖ woman, Jennet is expelled from the ―paradise‖ of close connection or bond with her baby son and is forced to go away from her native village. Coming back or re- emerging as woman in black, she bears a resemblance with the mythic figure of Adam‘s first wife, Lilith, rather than Eve. Lilith, being faced with either self - effacement and ―feminine‖ stillness or demonization took vengeance against Adam by slaughtering babies. Sh e preferred to be an evil or monster rather than being an Adam‘s cipher and Hill‘s presentation, for that reason, splits binary and polarised images of women. By the means of Gilbert and Gubar‘s interpretation of the fall from Eden, The Woman in Black could be examined as a fundamental Gothic text which refuses to accept the feminine stereotypes by portraying the considerate, maternal temperament of women as blended with the traits which might be depicted as ―demonic‖, freakish, nasty, haggish or witchlike. The novel questions the suppositions about women‘s ―natural‖ compliance and their unconditionally liberal reactions to husbands, partners and children.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture