Since one post just wasn’t enough!
While typing my previous entry, I checked out The Woman in Black IMDB page *. IMDB includes a list of memorable quotes from the film, the first of which was:
Jennet: I will never forgive.
(Put that on a mug and sell it.)
Sheer unoriginality aside, something about that quote REALLY bothered me. As I left school yesterday, I tried to figure out exactly what it was. And I think I did. More importantly, I think it led me to the secret of the Woman in Black, and why she still terrifies me.
A few things to know about the Woman (in the novel). She never speaks. We don’t learn her name until we’re at least 2/3 of the way through. Once we learn it, we only refer to her by her full name, and only two or three times at the most- otherwise she remains the Woman in Black. We hear her name when we hear her life’s story. Then- in the final, terrible, moment of retribution the narrator refers to “seeing the ghost of Jennet Humfrye”.
And that, dear readers, is what IMDB doesn’t get. “Jennet” is gone. A person has the ability to change, repent. Susan Hill slowly reveals that what we are dealing with is not a person.
So why is this book so scary? I propose that Hill captured something real about the spiritual world- reminding us that this life we have now is our time to bend, to forgive, or else we’ll spend eternity in anger and pain.
* Someday I’ll type on my home computer again. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596365/