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Comparison between The Withered Arm, The Red Room and The Monkey’s Paw

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Comparison between The Withered Arm, The Red Room and The Monkey's Paw What links all three of these stories is what links all ghost stories, the haunting. Something, a ghost, spirit or whatever, which once lived in this world and comes back to affect the living. These stories feature elements of gothic literature, i.e. castles, large houses and sconces. An all-important aspect of any ghost story is the atmosphere. An atmospheric presence is key to move the reader, like in The Monkey's Paw 'The night was cold and wet...''of all of the beastly, slushy, out-of-the-way places to live in, this is the worst.''' The Monkey's Paw is introduced slowly, describing the isolated house in terrible weather, as if an omen of what's to come, and the family going about their normal evening before the Sergeant Major arrives and mentions the paw. ...read more.


'But if you go tonight-'/('This night of all nights!')/ 'You go alone'. This borrows from gothic literature featuring characters that are physically deformed and could be otherworldly. In The Withered Arm the problem of that ailed limb takes up most of the story and is where we learn all about the way the characters behave and interact with each other. In The Monkey's Paw we learn about the old couples relationship in the problem. Mrs. White is assertive and has all the natural responses of a mother and a wife. Although he might not be as quick thinking as his wife 'turning to her slower witted husband', Mr. White is the only member of the family to realise the paw's dark power. ...read more.


His solution plunges her into complete solitude, as she believes she can't trust Rhoda and her husband wouldn't approve. The narrative voice in The Red Room builds tension by increasing the pace of the action. This shows his increasing fear of the events as he describes them to the reader. He, like Gertrude, is alone and must face his trial on his own. The solutions or perceived resolutions are somewhat bizarre in all three stories. No one in their right mind would attempt the Duke's challenge of spending the night in a supposedly haunted room where someone died trying to achieve the feat. The solution offered to Gertrude is completely absurd which a less desperate person would take as nothing more than a sick joke. Mrs. White's resolution is obviously brought on by stress but you have to wonder how many other people would decide on the same course of action. Oliver Parker-Brown ...read more.

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