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'Crossing over is an unconventional ghost story in that it doesn't adhere to traditional expectations. Explain uses of atmosphere in a variety of techniques. '

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Introduction

'Crossing over is an unconventional ghost story in that it doesn't adhere to traditional expectations. Explain uses of atmosphere in a variety of techniques. ' Although this story is unconventional it employs many techniques found in the more conventional ghost stories, use of tension, suspense and doubt. Storr takes and develops all that is in the more conventional story, applying it in different ways to crossing over. The writer continually questions the way in which we prioritise life and also questions our own sense of reality. In an almost kierkergaardien style Storr prioritises life which is described, by overshadowing it with the characters death at the end, for example the triviality of the girls worries,( 'she shouldn't go back...disagreeable task,') are indeed proven to be minor in comparison to the 'nothingness that pervades being'. In questioning the girls reality she too questions the reality of the reader, highlighting one of our main fears, that we don't exist, for we realise that as the character notices that she cant distinguish between her own death and living states so too do we find it impossible to prove at any point, for certain, that we are not dreaming rather than being in a waking state. ...read more.

Middle

disagreeable task'). The tension begins to build in the third paragraph. The way in which the weather is used to create atmosphere ('it was beginning to get dark... pavements slippery') is reminiscent of the more traditional ghost story, the questions left unanswered in the text for example why she had been kept late at school and why Togo was in a worst mood than usual. The relationship between Togo and the girl seems to have moved to a new level, the girl believing Togo 'had a spite against her' and feeling embarrassed by the thought of being seen with him ('as if it wasn't bad enough. ...unkempt and anti-social'). In the next paragraph the suspense increases. The sentences become shorter making the events appear to be happening fast. Language is used to suggest violence or speed ('moving fast,' 'rush hour' 'wrenching' 'snap' 'twisted' 'screaming brakes'). At the final moment before the climax the use of personification adds to the confusion of the accident ('she heard...brakes'). The whole mood f this paragraph is one of panic, chaos and confusion. Sights and sounds are described using onomatopoeia ('snap') the writer trying to make the scene realistic and imaginable. ...read more.

Conclusion

This adds to the reader's belief that the girl is, in fact, a ghost. This change in behaviour in Togo adds to the confusion of these paragraphs in which there is still some doubt in the mind of the reader as to the reality of the girl. The final passage dispels any doubt as to the girl's reality. Confirmation of her death is given by Mrs Matthews who says 'whatever's the matter with you Togo? Think you're seeing a ghost?' I feel that although when this was first published it was probably seen as an unconventional ghost story, now as we experience a wide variety of ghost stories through film and television it is slightly less unconventional. The uses of speed, language and tension are very similar to some of the early ghost stories, weather being used as a way of setting a mood is very Emily Bronte in style and shows very little unconventiality. There is always a doubt as to the girls reality but almost as soon as the crash happens the way in which the story progresses seems almost childlike in its simplicity. I feel that had this story been written a significantly long time ago it could be described as unconventional for that period, however in today's society there seems very little to differentiate it from every other ghost story of this period. ...read more.

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