Many modern and older stories are written as ghost stories. ‘Farthing House’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ are both examples of ghost stories. The authors manipulate character and setting by using structure and suspense. Also the language that is used effects the reader as imagery, ‘cattle are only hedge-cutters’ is used in both stories, but more in ‘Wuthering Heights’. Although the stories are obviously similar as they are ghost stories there are other similarities and differences, such as period it was set in, setting and the type of story.
I will explain all of the points mentioned above in more detail as the essay develops. Structure and suspense is used in both stories to give maximum effect on the reader. Both of the stories are clearly structured and set out but in different ways. Both of the stories start in the present, ‘Now it has all come back to me,’ and then convert to the past, ‘we had a good day,’ explaining and developing the story. I think the author does this to show the reader that all is not right as soon as the story begins.
This builds up the suspense straight away and the reader feels involved and as though they are going back in time to find out how the atmosphere is the way it is at the beginning of both stories. This is also a good technique and way to start a story as the reader wants to read on to find out more about the characters that they have already been introduced to. Emily Bronte chose to make the pace of her story very slow, resulting in it being a rather long-winded story.
Whereas Susan Hill chose to make the pace of her story faster, resulting in it being a short story. Farthing House’ follows the structure of harmony, conflict, new harmony. This is because at the start of the story the author is explaining the situation in the present, ‘I have never told you any of this before,’ then conflict occurs as the story converts into the past, ‘I was going to see aunt Addy. ‘ New harmony then starts as the author finds out about the ghost and her mind is at rest, ‘I slept well that night, I saw nothing. ‘ ‘Wuthering Heights’ has a different structure, as it doesn’t follow the simple structure of harmony, conflict, new harmony.
It doesn’t follow this as conflict has already started when the story starts as there is already an unhappy atmosphere, ‘I should not allow anyone to inconvenience me. ‘ On the other hand, when the story converts to the past harmony is present as Catherine and Heathcliff were so happy together. After which conflict develops as Catherine marries Edgar Linton. However, new harmony is not found until Heathcliff dies and leaves the house to Hareton Earnshaw, his nephew. Suspense is created in both of the stories, as in ‘Wuthering Heights’ there is a slow release of detail.
Whereas in ‘Farthing House’ the release of detail is much faster, having a different but just as good effect on the reader. Similarly, in both stories you can sense that all is not right as soon as they begin, due to the atmospheres, ‘I began to be restless several weeks ago’ and ‘… when I beheld his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows…. ‘ Moreover in both of the stories there are eccentric characters, the ghosts and their extreme behaviour, ‘… er arms out stretched, searching, hear her sobbing, and the crying of her baby,’ and ‘As it spoke, I discerned, obscurely, a child’s face looking through the window…….. Let me in. let me in. ‘ Also in ‘Wuthering Heights’ the detail is exaggerated to add to suspense and keep the reader interested, ‘ his fingers sheltered themselves with a jealous resolution. ‘ In my opinion ‘Farthing House’ keeps me interested because it goes straight to the point and it is easier to sense that some thing not right is going to happen.
This is because of how the author introduces the story, ‘ now it has come back to me, I do not want to let it go again, I must set it down. ‘ The settings of the two stories are very similar. They are both set in houses; Wuthering Heights and Farthing House and they both have their history. Moreover, they are both set in the countryside, in the middle of no where, ‘I had seen no other car since leaving the cathedral town seven miles back. ‘ ‘Wuthering Heights’ is set in England in the Yorkshire moors in the late 18th century.
In comparison ‘Farthing House’ is set in the 20th century and was written about 200 years later than ‘Wuthering Heights’. Similarly ‘Farthing House’ is set in England in ‘Little Dornford’. In my opinion I think the stories were set there because they are in the middle of no where and anything can happen in the houses, also the reader would be expecting the house to be in a busy town as many other books are set. ‘Farthing House’ was set there because it was where the author had the experience that she is writing about.
I think that houses in the middle of the countryside are good settings for a ghost story as they are isolated and seem spooky by just being where they are and not being haunted. In both of the stories imagery, such as, metaphors, similes and personification is used to manipulate the reader and make the setting come to life even more. In ‘Wuthering Heights’ the house and its surroundings are described using metaphors and similes, used to make the reader see things more clearly and descriptively. among the wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys… ‘ this quote shows how old and crumbling the house is, as well as describing it. ‘… by a range of gaunt thorns all stretched their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun,’ this quote also describes the surroundings of the house but helps the reader to picture the thorns growing up the sides of the house. I think the author Emily Bronte uses imagery because it makes the description easier for the reader to understand and believe. Also the reader may be influenced by Mr.
Lockwood’s impressions of the house and its surroundings. In ‘Farthing House’ imagery is also used to describe the house but to a lesser extent. The scene is set when the author describes her feelings towards the house, this has an effect on the reader as the description is not very happy and jolly, ‘… the car lights swept along a yew hedge, a lych gate, caught the shouldering of a gravestone. ‘ The reader may be influenced by the authors first impressions of the house that will make them wonder if the house is as perfect as Aunt Addy had said.
Also by using imagery the reader can see more clearly the image that the author is trying to put across, but instead of drawing it she is describing it so that the readers can interpret the description themselves. Both of the titles of the stories, ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Farthing House’ link into the stories as they are set in the houses and are an important feature. This gives a clue to the reader that the houses are going to be involved in the stories. The uses of imagery add to suspense because the reader can imagine the setting more easily and build up a picture inside their heads.
This manipulates the reader as the author has made the reader conjure up a picture, which is how the author wants it to be to give the full effect. The characters in both of the stories add to suspense, as some of them are ghosts. In ‘Farthing House’ the main character is the author (not named) as other characters influence her. Another main character is the ghost, called Eliza Maria Dolly as she influences other characters, mainly the author. The description of the ghost helps the reader to portrait it, ‘Poor, pale distraught young thing, she could do no one harm’ and ‘…. nd hear her crying and feeling again that terrible sadness and distress. ‘
The description of what she is wearing, ‘a flowing, embroidered nightgown, high neck and long sleeved,’ helps the reader to see how real this ghost is and also how normal. ‘Her hair was long too, and as pale as her face, her feet were bare,’ this quote gives the reader a thorough description of the ghost but it is nothing too abnormal. The author responds to the ghost by feeling sad and sorry for her, ‘I felt inconsolably hopeless and sad. The ghost does not influence any other characters, except the author because the author did not tell anyone her story until she wrote it down, about 5 years ago, ‘I have never told any of you this before. ‘ The author makes the reader think about the characters by the way she describes them. This is so the author can give a full effect on the reader and explain in depth and thoroughly about the characters and what they look like and how they behave. Moreover by making the reader think about the characters in the way that she is describing them can help the reader to understand and picture the ghosts more easily.
In my opinion I think the more simple way of describing the ghosts as Susan Hill has done is more effective than the eccentric way as it seems more real and understandable. On the other hand ‘Wuthering Heights’ has a ghost that seems less real as it actually talks to Mr. Lockwood and he answers her, ‘ “Let me in- Let me in! ” “Who are you? “. ‘ I find this quite unrealistic because if you had seen a ghost I am sure that you wouldn’t go and talk to it, would you? Well I certainly wouldn’t!
The ghost is described less in this story but it does have some description of her, ‘ … on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand. ‘ This quote shows that the ghost has been waiting outside for someone to come and free her, ‘I have been waiting for 20 years’. Also it shows that the little fingers show that the ghost is only young and has an effect on the reader as they feel as though Mr. Lockwood should let her in. The ghost, Catherine Linton, influences Mr. Lockwood to shout and wake Heathcliff who is then influenced as he goes back into the past and the story is told.
Emily Bronte has used a technique called crosscutting, as she has put the ending of the story to the beginning. This has an effect on the reader as when I read it I thought the beginning was strange and didn’t fit in, but when I got to the end of the book I realised that it did. The ghosts influence the characters in both of the stories but I think the most effective ghost is the ‘Farthing House’ ghost. This is because it is more simple and effective as it is realistic and makes the story more suspenseful and spooky, which manipulates the reader.
The language of the two stories is different as the stories were written in different periods, 18th and 20th century, this makes a lot of difference to the types of language used. Imagery, such as, similes and metaphors are used in both stories but predominately in ‘Wuthering Heights’. Imagery, ‘swarm of squealing puppies,’ is used to help the reader to perceive the full picture by either describing something as something or against something, ‘reposed a huge, liver-coloured bitch pointer. ‘ The language of both stories is typical to its period.
The language of ‘Wuthering Heights’ is typical of its period as it has archaic content and an old use of language, sentence structure and length, punctuation and syntax. Bronte uses words, such as, ‘hinder,’ ‘beheld,’ ‘ye,’ ‘nor-ne,’ ‘fowld’ and ‘hae no hend. ‘ These words demonstrate recognition of language typical to the Victorian period. The lengths of the sentences in ‘Wuthering Heights’ are very long compared to ‘Farthing House’. One sentence in ‘Wuthering Heights’ is 90 words long, ‘On coming up from dinner……. with heaps of cinders. ‘ This sentence consists of many clauses, three semi-colons and nine comas.
This amount of punctuation is rarely used in modern stories. Also the lengths of the paragraphs in ‘Wuthering Heights’ are longer than those in ‘Farthing House’, this is also typical of the period. It is obvious that ‘Farthing House’ is a modern story and the language differs as the lengths of the paragraphs and sentences are shorter and archaic content are very different. The language of ‘Farthing House’ is obviously easier for a reader to read as it uses more modern language. On the other hand, someone in the 18th century would find it easier to read ‘Wuthering Heights’.
All the imagery mentioned above is used to make the description feel real in both the reader and writers mind. I think that both of the imagery used in the stories are as effective as each other but in different ways, although I found it easier to read and understand ‘Farthing House’. In conclusion all of the points mentioned add to suspense, which helps the stories to be effective ghost stories. In my opinion I think that both of the stories are ghost stories and that the description of the characters and setting help to manipulate the reader for a full effect.
Although the stories are written in completely different periods the same techniques are used and will still continue to be used. The main similarities in the stories are that they are both ghost stories. They are both set in houses in the countryside. They both start in the present and go back to the past and they both use imagery and suspense to have a full effect on the reader. Also they are both written in the 1st person so the reader can see the story out of some ones perspective and the description can be described effectively through someone’s point if view.
The main differences in the stories are that they were written in completely different periods, ‘Wuthering Heights’ in the 18th century and ‘Farthing House’ in the 20th century. Some aspects of the language, such as sentence length, are very different and ‘Farthing House’ is a biographical account written in the form of a letter perhaps to a relative or someone who is expecting a baby. The technique of a ghost story is very effective and popular and will still be used in the future.