Woman in black by susan hill

I was then thirty-five and I had been a widower for the past twelve years. I had no taste at all for social life and, although in good generalhealth, was prone to occasional nervous illnesses and conditions, as a result of the experiences I will come to relate. Truth to tell, I was growing old well before my time, a sombre, pale-complexioned man with a strained expression – a dull dog. The main foreshadowing of this quote comes in the phrase ‘ as a result of the experiences I will come to relate’. This is very clear and gives an insight to what will come. It also suggests that since his wife’s death he has become a very secluded and mournful man and this is whatI believecould be a contributing factor to his illnesses. The face that he has had nervous illnesses could also come into the story later on.

Indeed, since those earlier experiences I had deliberately avoided all contemplation of any remotely non-material matters and clung to the prosaic, the visible and tangible. This quote is stating that because of his past experiences, he has purposely avoided all non-real things and has tried to hold onto what is normal, visible and touchable. This tells the reader that the events of his past have shaped the rest of his days. Because of the death of his wife, this could be the reason why he doesn’t want to believe in any of the ghost stories and only believe in the real-life normal things that he believes to be true.

On that day, I truly believed that I had at last come out from under the long shadow cast by events of the past and saw from his face and felt from the warmth of his handclasp that Mr Bentley believed it too. ‘ The long shadow cast by events of the past’. This quotation suggests to the reader not only that he has had a really bad past but that this past has been haunting him with a ‘ long shadow’ all these years and even though he is in to his 50’s, it is still coming back to him. However, just the shear presence of this house has cleared the dark shadows away from him.