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

Compare and contrast two of the short stories and comment on how the writers build tension.

Extracts from this document...


GCSE English Coursework Essay -Compare and contrast two of the short stories and comment on how the writers build tension. The two short stories that I am comparing; The Monkey's Paw by W.W.Jacobs, who has previously written 'The Castaways' and 'Deep waters' and The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, who wrote 'Le Horla' and 'La petite Roque' are both gothic horror stories. In addition they are both set around the turn of the 19th century, however the writers differ in how they build up tension by using literary devices and how they attempt to scare us. One of the two short stories, The Monkey's Paw by W.W.Jacobs, is set deep in the countryside and is based around black magic and how a greedy man tests it and the magic backfires. He was warned of the horrific outcomes, yet he fell into temptation and still used the paw, which leads to a series of devastating events. The other story, The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, is set in Nanterre, a rural area near Paris, France. A lower-class woman is also too greedy and borrows an expensive necklace. ...read more.


Also a lot of the vocabulary in these stories is not common today, words such as fusillade, furtively, candlestine and rubicund. These words date the story to when the English language was not spoken quickly and didn't included abbreviations and short words. Also, in The Necklace, the currency used is Francs, which is not used at all today; "I could get by on 400 francs". Both the writers use literary devices to great effect in their stories. There is a sense of repetition in both the stories, "Wish. Wish!" and "My boy! My boy!" This is used to remind the reader of the word or even to annoy the reader. It could also be used to get the point across or emphasise something. The writers both use punctuation strongly, with commas, colons, semi-colons, ellipsis and dashes, used to slow the story down, make sentences longer or delay the suspense. Exclamation marks, question marks and full stops (repeated in a short space of time) are used to quicken the story and to make it upbeat and exciting. Personification gives inanimate objects human qualities, which brings them alive, to another character in the story. ...read more.


I found the use of short quick words to quicken the pace of the story, an effective way to interest me and after long, boring, complex sentences, creating 'on-the-edge-of-your-seat' intrigue into what is going to happen. Next, the use of irony in the stories really makes things more interesting and gives the story another point to look at it from. Both of these stories contain strong use of irony, 'The Necklace', using it at the end to leave the story as a cliff-hanger; "It couldn't have been worth much more than five thousand francs!..." and 'The Monkey's Paw', using it during the story, turning a warm night in for the family, a devastating life for the parents. In conclusion, both of the stories use many literary devices to create tension and scare us. Neither of the stories are particularly scary but leave you anxious into what happens. Both of the stories are similar in being gothic horror stories and are set around the turn of the 19th century. On the other hand, they are quite different in how they use long and short sentences at different parts of the story, how they make the reader feel during the story and what affect their story has on the person reading it. TOM POUNDS 10ZC MR.LOZANO ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous 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 GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. GCSE Essay on Tension in "Turn of the screw"

    The gradual build up of suspense through the prologue preludes the main story, in order to exemplify an atmosphere of anticipation and dread of what is to follow. James now uses the setting of the novella to create tension. He allows us to see into the Governess' mind and we,

  2. Gothic Stories

    The Red Room is set in an old castle; it has words in the story which describe it as old by quotes like 'there is a candle on the slab outside the door'. Which shows it doesn't have electricity and candles are used.

  1. How is a sense of fear created in the reader in Gothic short stories?

    The house is an example of typical gothic architecture. The house is a large mansion, with a spiral staircase, and great windows. All of these features link back to gothic buildings and architecture. The shadows are also a typical gothic feature. They represent things such as death, horror, and darkness.

  2. How does Kat Chopin Represent Women In her Short Stories

    When Mrs. Sommers goes to "the shoe department" it is mentioned that she is fastidious. Showing contradictory behaviour to when she would settle for anything that fitted as long as she could get it at a lower price. She also doesn't mind if her boots cost "a dollar or two

  1. Explore the method which writers use to create suspense and tension in 19th century ...

    Even though the couple were not the richest of people, and they ate stew almost every night, Loisel managed to stay happy and pretend that their dinner was not becoming tiresome after having it so often. Loisel's character is an extraordinary one, as he keeps the readers engaged into the

  2. Shades Of Grey- A Short Story

    He saw not individual drops of water but a stream of them, and even the running water could have been as still as an icicle suspended from the head, except where it hit the sink bowl, and the ice was smashed into a million pieces, while at the same time it regained its fluidity and rolled to the drain.

  1. With Specific Reference to Language, Discuss how Short Story writers use the conventions of ...

    The Speckled Band however, utilises the first person in a slightly different way. Although a change in the apprehension is evident in Watson, the aspect that adds most to the suspense, is the way in which the narrator narrates the story.

  2. 19th Century Short Stories Coursework

    The passage to the 'red room' is described as 'subterranean' this means underground. This has connotations of hell and could be a metaphor for the passage to hell. The 'steps' and 'door to the red room' are in a shadowy corner.

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