• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How is tension created and sustained in "The Monkey's Paw"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How is tension created and sustained in "The Monkey's Paw" The Monkey's Paw is a short, horror story written by WW Jacobs. It was written and set in the 19th century in a time where there was almost an obsession with the gothic, Victoria genre. Jacobs uses a range of techniques which create and add tension of the audience. The setting, structure, genre, characters, language and atmosphere all contribute to the ascending build up of tension throughout the story. The setting of the story is typical of the time in which it was set. There are many clues given by the author, which help us to distinguish the time period in which the play was set. Items such as 'the china candlestick' and 'the fire' would not be used commonly today because of the introduction of electrical heaters etc. Furthermore, when Mr white says: "A rat. It passed me on the stairs", we find it difficult to comprehend this. This is because we would find a rat scuttling around in our houses today extremely peculiar and probably unbelievable whereas Mr and Mrs White do not seem to make much of a fuss about it because it may have been normal in that time. ...read more.

Middle

Sergeant-Major Morris is an extremely mysterious character. We seem to imagine him as a gigantic, mean, imposing, muscular man when hearing of his arrival because of the "heavy footsteps", which he makes as described so by the author. His arrival is somewhat sprung on use and we do not get to know much about him until he starts conversing with the Mr White and family about the paw. Therefore he is almost like an unknown character to us. Once Mr White mentions the Monkey's Paw, he seems eager to change the subject: "Nothing' said the soldier hastily". This tells us that he was not keen to disclose information about the Monkey's Paw and was clearly hiding some details at the beginning. Once he realises the others are interested in the paw, he tries to play down its powers: "it's just an ordinary little paw dried to a little mummy". The reason for him acting this way is not clear to us at first but later on we get to know that the reason for this is because he has bad experiences with it. We know this because of his reaction when being asked is he had used his three wishes, "his blotchy face whitened". ...read more.

Conclusion

The sentences are short in order to delay the point of climax, so that the audience find the ending of a better quality. There are also short bursts of action at this point in the story to get the reader excited about what will happen, "and frantically breathed his third and last wish". This is probably the part of the play where the tension is at its highest because the audience are holding their breath as to what it going to happen. The adverbs used by the author help to create this tension because words such as 'frantically', 'hoarsely' and 'appealingly' give us an insight to the actual feelings of the characters. This helps us because then we can relate to the characters. In conclusion, I can say that in the monkey's paw the author uses a variety of methods to create tension. These include characters, setting, structure, language and style. Overall, I would say that Sergeant-Major Morris is the person who contributes to providing the most amount of tension in the play. His mysteriousness and whole demeanour just makes the audience think that something bad is going to happen in the play because of him. I also think that the climax used by WW Jacobs was a very clever way to build up a lot of tension. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. The author Michael Frayn has used many different devices in order to sustain the ...

    but also keeps the reader interested since we want to discover what has changed, constantly drawing the reader further into the story. In some cases the reader may also be able to relate to this feeling, when smelling a familiar aroma it can occasionally feel for a moment like nothing

  2. The stimulus we were given to look at was the play 'Too Much Punch ...

    Our group worked very well together on this task, we all worked off each others ideas and we were all happy with the finished performance.

  1. "Phoenix Nights"

    The club is then shown using a long shot, comedy is produced from the contrast between what the audiences hears of the Phoenix and what they see. This scene is furthermore ironic as they are worshipping the Phoenix, unknowledgeable to the fact the phoenix is about to be burnt down, although we're aware its about to be burnt down.

  2. Show How Hall Manipulates tension and conflict in the Long, Short and the Tall

    As well as being able to reduced tension, Willis Hall can create it; one of these ways is through the group's radio. Even in the most relaxed scene in The Long and the Short and the Tall, Willis Hall always has slight tension existing in the background with Whitaker: 'WHITAKER:

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work