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

A comparison of the 20th and 19th century short stories by Penelope lively, Rohl Dahl and M.R. James

Extracts from this document...


A comparison of the 20th and 19th century short stories by Penelope lively, Rohl Dahl and M.R. James All 3 of the short stories carry a similar main theme, a theme which derives from the classic tale of Hansel and Grethal by the Brothers Grimm. A theme of disregard, procurement of the nieve and coincidentally, murder. The first of these stories is "The darkness out there" by Penelope lively. This story doesn't follow the theme as strictly as the others but it is loosely based upon it. The time set is not at first overly apparent. But it soon becomes clear that it was set not long after world war two, late 40's early 50's. Probably in Kent or some other country side place. The narrative is a story of generosity, which is shattered by evil. The goodness is symbolised by the children and the evil by the old woman. The crime is one of murder and the turning point is when the boy realises how evil the old woman is. In the next story, "the lost hearts" by M R James, the time set is a lot earlier around the time of 1811. ...read more.


The use of English is, in the main, standard and the colloquial language of the time would be considered as standard to a younger generation. When signing the guest book, Billy realises that something foal was afoot. He recognises seeing both the names in the paper under a murder column, this is the turning point. At the end of the story, we are made to believe that he is also poisoned, but this is not confirmed by the cliff-hanger ending. "The darkness out there" and "the landlady" are both set in the 20th century, This is made clear in "the darkness out there" by many lines, the main giveaway being "a German plane came down there in the war," I am sure that we are all aware that German planes would not have came down in England, in the 19th century. And the time set is proven in "the landlady" by the line "probably lost a son in the war". This point of proof could be arguable, there have been wars in both centauries which she could have lost her son in, but only the wars in the 20th century which stated compulsory enrolment. ...read more.


"The darkness out there" would be a murder/ thriller story. "The landlady" would defiantly be a 20th century fairytale. And "the lost hearts" would be more difficult to determine. It is a style of murder, fairytale and horror, with a hint of science fiction. I have touched on the archaic language used by James in a previous paragraph. He uses verbs and adjectives that would not be used so much today such as "congruous", "acquaintance" and "afore". Some of the language used in the other stories could also be described as now archaic. Words like "spinney" and "lodgings". I feel that the only reason Liveleys and Dahls use of description appears quite simple compared to that of James, is because it uses adjectives we are far more familiar with such as "fairly", " wide", "pretty" and "plump". Rather than adjectives such as "purer" and "gently beating". As I have previously stated, all 3 stories carry a general theme of procurement, a theme which derives from the Grimms fairytale "Hanzel und Grethel". It is clear in each story who plays the role of the "wicked witch" and who plays that of the innocent children. In "the darkness out there," "old Mrs Rutter" plays thw witch character whilst the children play the innocent victims of procurement. ...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 Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks 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 Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. The Handmaids Tale

    The aunts themselves are the only women who are granted access in reading and writing and have access to weapons; they have more power than even the wives. The aunts attempt to oppose the handmaid's further knowledge of the outside world and work at opposing their knowledge.

  2. An analysis of variations in style in comparison to Standard English.

    able to walk makes the patient interprets as a query about work ans replies "Wawk! I cannot even wahk yet!" 11 The second part of the Northern area, the Lower North and Central North, covers, according to Trudgill, a large area stretching down from Carlisle to Sheffield and covering Cumbria, most of Yorkshire and parts of Lancashire.

  1. Philip K Dick Comparison

    Philip K. Dick was becoming more and more eccentric with each passing year, later claiming that he was having week long visions, which were the basis of his later novels from the VALIS series, and claiming that the FBI, CIA and KGB were after him.

  2. Linguistic Analysis of Dahl and Blyton

    Ohmann points to the slippery way in which critics have been accustomed to trying to determine exactly what constitutes the style which Chambers indicates is so important. While critics have been inclined to look at such differences as those caused by time period, syntactical and grammatical usage, the usage of

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