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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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